Pending home sales increased in March and are well above a year ago, another signal the housing market is recovering, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). The Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings, rose 4.1% to 101.4 in March from an upwardly revised 97.4 in February and is 12.8% above March 2011 when it was 89.9. The data reflects contracts but not closings. The index is now at the highest level since April 2010 when it reached 111.3.
Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist said “First quarter sales closings were the highest first quarter sales in five years. The latest contract signing activity suggests the second quarter will be equally good.”