Economists' Outlook

Housing stats and analysis from NAR's research experts.

February 2021 Pending Home Sales Drop for Second Straight Month

NAR released a summary of pending home sales data showing that February's pending home sales pace declined 10.6% last month and fell modestly 0.5% from a year ago.

Bar chart: Pending Home Sales Index, February 2020 to February 2021

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 four regions showed gains from a year ago. The South had the largest incline of 2.9% followed by West with a gain in contract signings of 1.9%. The Midwest had the biggest decline of 6.1%, followed by the Midwest, with a drop of 3.9%.

Bar chart: U.S. and Regional Pending Sales, February 2021 and February 2020

From last month, all regions showed declines in contract signings. The South led all regions with the largest decrease of 13.0%, followed by the Midwest, which fell 9.5%. The Northeast dipped 9.2%, followed by the West, which had a decline of 7.4%.

The U.S. pending home sales index level for the month was 110.3.

February’s contract signings bring the pending index above the 100-level mark for the 10th consecutive month.

Line graph: Pending Home Sales Index, January 2019 to February 2021

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

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