The Pending Home Sales Index increased 3.1% in February, and was up 12.0% from the same period a year ago. The Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI), a forward-looking indicator based on signed contracts reported by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), increased to 106.9 in February, up from a downwardly revised 103.7 in January. The PHSI increased year-over-year for the sixth consecutive month, and reached its highest level since June 2013.
The February PHSI increased 11.6% in the Midwest and 6.6% in the West, but fell 2.3% in the Northeast and 1.4% in the South. The decline in February pending sales in the Northeast contrasts with the surge in new home sales reported for that region last week. Year-over-year, the PHSI increased in all four regions, ranging from 18.3% in the West to 4.1% in the Northeast.
NAR also reported that the share of first-time buyers increased for the first time in February since last November, and was up to 29% from 28% in January. This strong pending sales report follows the 7.8% increase in new home sales reported last week, and suggests continued good news for builders in 2015.