The National Association of Realtors (NAR) released their pending home sales index (PHSI) for April. The PHSI tracks sales contracts signed, the precursor to contracts being closed, and is typically a good predictor of existing homes sales (i.e., contract closings) in the following month or two.
The PHSI advanced 0.3% in April from March and stands 10.3% higher than in April of 2012. The continuing advance in contracts signed in April suggests sales in May will continue their climb.
After hitting bottom at an annual pace of roughly 3.5 million sales in July 2010 following the expiration of the home buyer tax credit, existing home sales have recovered, reaching a pace of nearly 5.0 million in April. As the housing market continues to improve, we expect the pace of existing home sales to continue rising moderately reaching 5.2 million by the end of 2014.