NAR released a summary of pending home sales data showing that February’s pending home sales pace declined 4.1% last month and fell 5.4% from a year ago.
Pending sales represent homes that have a signed contract to purchase on them but have yet to close. They tend to lead existing-home sales data by 1 to 2 months.
All four regions of the U.S. showed declines from a year ago. The Northeast had the largest dip of 9.2% followed by the West with a drop in contract signings of 5.3%. The Midwest fell 5.2% followed by the South with the smallest decline of 4.3%.
From last month, three of the four regions showed reductions in contract signings. The Northeast region had the only gain of 1.9%. The Midwest region had the largest dip of 6.0% followed by the West with a decrease of 5.4%. The Midwest had the smallest decline of 4.4%.
The U.S. pending home sales index level for the month was 104.9.
February’s contract signings bring the pending index above the 100-level mark for the 21st-consecutive month.
The 100 level is based on a 2001 benchmark and is consistent with existing-home sales above the 5 million mark.