NAR released a summary of pending home sales data showing that March’s pending home sales pace decreased 1.2% last month and dropped 8.2% from a year ago.
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.
All of the four regions showed declines from a year ago. The South had the largest dip of 9.5% followed by the Northeast with a drop in contract signings of 9.2%. The West fell 8.4% followed by the Midwest with the smallest decline of 4.8%.
From last month, three of the four regions showed reductions in contract signings. The Northeast region had the only gain of 4.0%. The Midwest region had the largest dip of 6.1% followed by the South with a decrease of 0.9%. The West had the smallest decline of 0.2%.
The U.S. pending home sales index level for the month was 103.7.
March’s contract signings bring the pending index above the 100-level mark for the 22nd-consecutive month.
The 100 level is based on a 2001 benchmark and is consistent with existing-home sales above the 5 million mark.