Improved buyer demand at the beginning of 2015 pushed pending home sales in January to their highest level since August 2013, according to the National Association of REALTORS®. All major regions except for the Midwest saw gains in activity in January.
The Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings climbed 1.7 percent to 104.2 in January from an upwardly revised 102.5 in December and is now 8.4 percent above January 2014 (96.1). This marks the fifth consecutive month of year-over-year gains with each month accelerating the previous month’s gain.
Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says for the most part, buyers in January were able to overcome tight supply to sign contracts at a pace that highlights the underlying demand that exists in today’s market. “Contract activity is convincingly up compared to a year ago despite comparable inventory levels,” he says. “The difference this year is the positive factors supporting stronger sales, such as slightly improving credit conditions, more jobs and slower price growth.”