Pending-home sales rose for the third consecutive month in February in a hopeful sign that observers said could bode well for the spring selling season.
Specifically, the National Association of REALTORS® Pending Home Sales Index ticked up 0.8% from January. Year over year, however, pending sales were down 21.1%.
“After nearly a year, the housing sector’s contraction is coming to an end,” NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said in a press release. “Existing-home sales, pending contracts and new-home construction pending contracts have turned the corner and climbed for the past three months.”
Regionally, the pending-sales index was up in the South, Midwest and Northeast but down in the West.
“February’s uptick in pending home sales is just one of the green shoots signaling that the housing market is thawing in time for spring home-buying,” First American economist Ksenia Potapov said. “Other leading indicators, including mortgage applications and builder confidence, have also been trending higher.”
Pending sales, in which the contract has been signed but the transaction has not closed, are considered a leading indicator and generally precede existing-home sales by a month or two.