March showed another sign of improvement in pending home sales as contract activity rising unevenly in six of the past nine months, according to the National Association of Realtors®.
The Pending Home Sales Index rose 5.1 percent to 94.1 in March from a downwardly revised 89.5 in February. The index is 11.4 percent is still below 106.2 in March 2010.
The data reflects contracts but not closings, which normally occur with a lag time of one or two months.
Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said home sales activity has shown an uneven but notable improvement. “Since reaching a cyclical bottom last June, pending home sales have posted an overall gain of 24 percent and demonstrate the market is recovering on its own,” he said. “The index means modest near-term gains in existing-home sales are likely, which would be even stronger if tight mortgage lending criteria returned to normal, safe standards.”