February Pending Homes Sales Up 2.4%

Pending home sales rose for the second straight month in February—perhaps one last lagging indicator before the coronavirus fallout—the National Association of Realtors reported yesterday.

The Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings, rose by 2.4% to 111.5 in February. Year-over-year contract signings increased by 9.4%.

All four regions saw improvement. In the Northeast, the index rose by 2.8% to 96.3 in February and improved by 5.9% higher from a year ago. In the Midwest, the index increased by 4.5% to 110.1 last month and was nearly 15% higher than a year ago.

Pending home sales in the South inched up 0.1% to 129.2 in February and improved by 7.1% from a year ago. The index in the West rose by 4.6% in February to 97.1 and jumped by nearly 11% from a year ago.

“February’s pending sales figures show the housing market had been very healthy prior to the coronavirus-induced shutdown,” said NAR Chief Economists Lawrence Yun. “Numbers in the coming weeks will show just how hard the housing market was hit.”