February pending home sales index drops to record lows
Pending sales of existing homes were weaker than expected in February and 21.4 percent below last year at this time, the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION of REALTORS® (NAR) reported Tuesday. The NAR Pending Home Sales Index measures pending sales contracts and is seen as a barometer of future home sales activity. However, the Index rose 2.1 percent for the month in the West.
MAKING SENSE OF THE STORY
The Index fell 1.9 percent from 86.2 in January to 84.6 in February, the lowest level since NAR began publishing the Index in 2001. Economists had expected a drop of 0.7 percent.
Despite the decline, NAR expects home sales to remain flat before picking up during the latter half of the year, when increases in loan limits for jumbo mortgages are expected to help improve liquidity.
By region, the Index in the West, which includes California, rose 2.1 percent.