Pending Home Sales Highest Since June 2013
Jann Swanson | Mortgage News Daily | Apr 29 2015 | link
Momentum appears to be building toward a healthy spring market according to data released today on March pending home sales. The National Association of Realtors® (NAR) said its Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI), reached 108.6 in March, a 1.1 percent increase over the previous month. At the same time the February Index number was revised upward from 106.9 to 107.4.
March is the third consecutive month that pending sales have increased month over month and the Index is now at its highest level since June 2013 when it was 109.4. The PHSI was up 11.1 percent from the March 2014 level of 97.7. It has now increased year-over-year for seven consecutive months.
The PHSI is a leading indicator based on executed home purchase contracts. These contracts are generally expected to be reflected in residential sales in about two months.
Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said the encouraging pending sales numbers resulted from more buyers than usual entering this year’s competitive spring market. “Demand appears to be stronger in several parts of the country, especially in metro areas that have seen solid job gains and firmer economic growth over the past year,” he said. “While contract activity being up convincingly compared to a year ago is certainly good news, the increased number of traditional buyers who appear to be replacing investors paying in cash is even better news. It indicates this year’s activity is being driven by more long-term homeowners.”