Pending home sales rose for the third consecutive month, up 0.8% from January. Month-over-month, contract signings increased in three U.S. regions but declined in the West. Pending home sales decreased in all four regions compared to one year ago. 

Upper Cumberland – Pending home sales grew in Feb. for the third consecutive month, according to the National Association of Realtors. Three U.S. regions posted monthly gains, while the West declined. All four regions saw year-over-year decreases in transactions.

The Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI)*, a forward-looking indicator of home sales based on contract signings, improved 0.8% to 83.2 in Feb. Year-over-year, pending transactions dropped by 21.1%.

An index of 100 is equal to the level of contract activity in 2001.

“After nearly a year, the housing sector’s contraction is coming to an end,” said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. “Existing-home sales, pending contracts and new-home construction pending contracts have turned the corner and climbed for the past three months.”

The South PHSI grew 0.7% to 99.3 in Feb., dropping 21.7% from the prior year.

“The affordable U.S. regions, the Midwest and South, are leading the recovery,” Yun added. “Mortgage rates have improved in recent weeks after the federal government guaranteed the status of most mortgages amid uncertainty in the financial market. While access to commercial mortgage loans could become increasingly difficult, residential mortgage loans are expected to be more readily available.”

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