Pending home sales increased slightly in March for the second consecutive month and reached their highest level in almost a year, according to the National Association of REALTORS®. Only the West region saw a decline in contract activity last month.
The Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings, climbed 1.4 percent to 110.5 in March from a downwardly revised 109.0 in February and is now 1.4 percent above March 2015 (109.0). After last month’s slight gain, the index has increased year-over-year for 19 consecutive months and is at its highest reading since May2015 (111.0).
Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says last month’s pending sales increase signals a solid beginning to the spring buying season.
“Despite supply deficiencies in plenty of areas, contract activity was fairly strong in a majority of markets in March,” he says.
“This spring’s surprisingly low mortgage rates are easing some of the affordability pressures potential buyers are experiencing and
are taking away some of the sting from home prices that are still rising too fast and above wage growth.”