Economists' Outlook

Housing stats and analysis from NAR's research experts.

February 2023 Pending Home Sales Rise for Third Consecutive Month

NAR released a summary of pending home sales data showing that February’s pending home sales pace rose modestly 0.8% last month but fell 21.1% from a year ago.

Bar chart: PHS Index February 2022 to February 2023

Pending sales represent homes with a signed contract to purchase them but have yet to close. They tend to lead existing-home sales data by 1 to 2 months.

All of the four regions showed double-digit declines from a year ago. The West had the largest dip of 28.4%, followed by the South with a drop in contract signings of 21.7%. The Northeast fell 17.0%, followed by the Midwest, with the smallest decline of 16.5%.

Bar chart: US & Regional Pending Sales February 2022 and February 2023

From last month, three of the four regions showed increases in contract signings. The West region had the only decline of 2.4%. The Northeast had the largest gain of 6.5%, followed by the South, with an increase of 0.7%. The Midwest had the smallest incline of 0.4%.

The U.S. pending home sales index level for the month of February was 83.2. January’s pending sales figures were revised to 82.5.

February’s contract signings bring the pending index below the 100-level mark for the eleventh consecutive month.

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

Line graph: Pending Home Sales Index January 2019 to February 2023 in the US and 4 US Regions