The Pending Home Sales Index shows an 11% increase in home buyer activity from March 2014 to March 2015. The index tracks contracts signed that are waiting to close, so it’s a good indicator of future existing-home sales numbers. A property is marked as “pending” only after all contingencies have been met.
For March, pending sales inched up only about 1% from February. However, this is the third straight monthly increase, which leads experts to believe the housing market could be in for a banner year—if only there is enough inventory to satisfy demand.
“Demand in many markets is far exceeding supply, and properties in March sold at a faster rate than any month since last summer,” said Lawrence Yun, chief economist at NAR. “This in turn has pushed home prices to unhealthy levels—nearly four or more times above the pace of wage growth in some parts of the country. Simply put, housing inventory for new and existing homes needs to improve measurably to improve affordability.”
Of course, some parts of the country performed better than others. Pending sales dropped in the Northeast for the fourth straight month. In the Midwest, the index declined by nearly 3%, but market activity is still more than 11% above where it was in March 2014. Read full article here.