Pending sales – homes under contract but not yet sold – rose 0.8% month-to-month in Feb. with only the Western region seeing a decline.
WASHINGTON – Pending home sales grew in February for the third consecutive month, according to the National Association of Realtors® (NAR).
Of the four U.S. regions in the pending-sale breakdown, only one – the West – failed to see a monthly gain. However, all regions saw a pending-sales decline year-to-year.
The Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI) – a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings – improved 0.8% to 83.2 in February. Year-over-year, pending transactions dropped by 21.1%. An index of 100 is equal to the level of contract activity in 2001.
“After nearly a year, the housing sector’s contraction is coming to an end,” says NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. “Existing-home sales, pending contracts and new-home construction pending contracts have turned the corner and climbed for the past three months.”
Pending home sales regional breakdown
- The Northeast PHSI rose 6.5% from last month to 72.5, a drop of 17% from February 2022.
- The Midwest index improved 0.4% to 84.9 in February, a decline of 16.5% year-to-year.
- The South PHSI grew 0.7% to 99.3 in February, down 21.7% year-to-year.
- The West index decreased 2.4% to 64.6, shrinking 28.4% compared to February 2022.
“The affordable U.S. regions – the Midwest and South – are leading the recovery,” Yun says. “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.”
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