Home » Pending-home sales at highest since June 2013: NAR
Pending-home sales at highest since June 2013: NAR
March 30, 2015
WASHINGTON (3/31/15)--Pending-home sales doubled-down in February with a second straight month of gains, as the National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported its pending-sales index climbed 3.1% for the month to 106.9 (Economy.com March 30).
Further, the pending-home sales index, a leading indicator for the housing market, sits 12% higher than its level in February 2013.
While the index rose to its highest level since the summer of 2013, "the bulk of the improvement in housing demand continues to be supported by investors and all-cash buyers, as evidenced by the tepid recovery in mortgage purchase applications," said Brent Campbell, Moody's analyst (Economy.com).
Campbell also said that first-time homebuyers remain absent from the market, as sales have been driven by households who already own homes and are interested in upgrading or downgrading.
By region, the Midwest and West posted pending-home sales increases of 11.6% and 6.6% respectively, while sales dropped by 1.4% in the South and 2.3% in the Northeast.
Pending-home sales in each region have outperformed their year-over-year paces, however, with the West climbing 18.3% above its year-ago level, the Midwest rising 13.8% and the South and Northeast jumping 10.8% and 4.1% respectively on an annual basis.
"Several markets remain highly competitive due to supply pressures, and realtors are reporting severe shortages of move-in ready and available properties in lower price ranges," said Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist. "The return of first-time buyers this year will depend on how quickly inventory shows up in the market."