Tuesday
October 21, 2014

Pending Home Sales Gain for First Time in 9 Months

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Pending Home Sales Gain for First Time in 9 Months

The housing market is showing signs of picking up again after a sluggish few months. Pending home sales rose 3.4 percent in March over February, according to the National Association of REALTORS®’ Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings.

Contracts were most on the rise in the West and South, increasing 5.7 percent and 5.6 percent in March, respectively. The Northeast saw an uptick of 1.4 percent in contracts month-over-month, while contracts in the Midwest fell by 0.8 percent.

“After a dismal winter, more buyers got an opportunity to look at homes last month and are beginning to make contract offers,” says Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. “Sales activity is expected to steadily pick up as more inventory reaches the market, and from ongoing job creation in the economy.”

Pending home sales in March remained 7.9 percent below year-ago levels. While home sales are expected to rise over the rest of the year and into 2015, they likely won’t match their 2013 level, NAR reports. Existing-home sales will likely reach slightly over 4.9 million this year, shy of the nearly 5.1 million in sales in 2013, NAR projects. But with inventory shortages continuing nationwide, NAR predicts that the median existing-home price will rise between 6 percent and 7 percent this year.

Source: National Association of REALTORS®

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Real Estate Lessons of a Long Winter