NAR released a summary of pending home sales data showing that January’s pending home sales index is modestly up 1.7% from last month and improved 8.4% from a year ago which could provide positive momentum for the coming months.
Pending sales are homes that have a signed contract on them but have yet to close. They tend to lead Existing Home Sales data by 1 to 2 months.
January’s data shows a fifth consecutive month of year over year gains in pending sales. Regionally, the West saw the biggest gains from a year ago at 11.4%, while the Midwest had the smallest gain at 4.2%.
All regions showed growth from last month, except the Midwest which was down 0.7%. While the South had the biggest gain of 3.2%, the South is also the region with the highest pending sales index level out of the US and the four regions. The pending home sales index level was 104.2 for the US. A level of 100 is consistent with the pending home sales activity in 2001, a year when existing home sales activity was about 5.1 million.