Economists' Outlook

Housing stats and analysis from NAR's research experts.

Pending Sales in March 2024 Increase by 3.4% from February

NAR recently released data showing that March's pending home sales rose 3.4% from last month and increased modestly (0.1%) from a year ago.

Bar graph: Pending Home Sales Index, March 2023 to March 2024

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.

Two of four regions showed inclines from a year ago. The West region had the biggest increase of 3.6%, followed by the Midwest with a gain of 1.3%. The South fell 1.5%, followed by the Northeast with a reduction in sales of 0.3%.

Bar graph: March U.S. and Regional Pending Sales, 2024 and 2023

Compared to last month, three regions showed increases in contract signings. The South had the biggest increase, 7.0%, followed by the West, which increased 6.8%. The Northeast increased 2.7%, and the Midwest had the only decline (4.3%).

The U.S. pending home sales index level for the month of March was 78.2. February's pending sales figures were revised to 75.6.

March's contract signings bring the pending index below the 100-level mark for the 24th consecutive month.

The 100 level is based on a 2001 benchmark and is consistent with existing-home sales above the 5 million mark.