NAR released a summary of pending home sales data showing that March's pending home sales pace fell 5.2% last month and 23.2% from a year ago.
Pending sales represent homes that have a signed purchase contract on them but have yet to close. They tend to lead existing-home sales data by 1 to 2 months.
All four regions showed double-digit declines from a year ago. The West had the largest dip of 32.2%, followed by the Northeast with a drop in contract signings of 24.3%. The Midwest fell 21.5%, followed by the South with the smallest decline of 19.8%.
From last month, three of the four regions showed declines in contract signings. The South region had the only incline of 0.2%. The Midwest had the largest decline of 10.7%, followed by the Northeast, with a decrease of 8.1%. The West had the smallest decrease of 8.0%.
The U.S. pending home sales index level for the month of March was 78.9. February's pending sales figures were revised to 83.2.
March's contract signings bring the pending index below the 100-level mark for the twelfth consecutive month.
The 100 level is based on a 2001 benchmark and is consistent with existing home sales above the 5 million mark.