Pending home sales rose 0.8% in February
For the third consecutive month, pending home sales rose in February, according to a report from the National Association of Realtors® (NAR). Three of the four regions saw increases from January, but all four regions saw decreases from a year ago, when the housing market was much more robust.
“After nearly a year, the housing sector’s contraction is coming to an end,” said Lawrence Yun, chief economist at NAR. “Existing-home sales, pending contracts and new-home construction pending contracts have turned the corner and climbed for the past three months.”
Slight growth in two regions
The Pending Home Sales Index is a forward-looking metric of sales based on contract signings, equates an index of 100 to the level of contract activity in 2001. All four major region fell below that in February.
- Northeast: up 6.5% to 72.5, down 17% from February 2022
- Midwest: up 0.4% to 84.9, down 16.5% from February 2022
- South: up 0.7% to 99.3, down 21.7% from February 2022
- West: down 2.4% to 64.6, down 28.4% from February 2022
“The affordable U.S. regions – the Midwest and South – are leading the recovery,” Yun points out. “Mortgage rates have improved in recent weeks after the federal government guaranteed the status of most mortgages amidst uncertainty in the financial market. While access to commercial mortgage loans could become increasingly difficult, residential mortgage loans are expected to be more readily available.”
This is an encouraging start to the spring season, traditionally the busiest time of year in the housing market. But things can change fast during this time of year, especially during this period of recovery. Talk with an expert loan officer to help you understand the latest breaking news about the housing market and find ways to make the most of the current environment.