The Pending Home Sales Index increased for the third straight month in March to a level 11.1% above 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 1.1% in March to 108.6, up from an upwardly revised 107.4 in February. The PHSI increased year-over-year for the seventh consecutive month, and reached its highest level since June 2013.
Regionally, the March PHSI increased 4.0% in the South and 1.7% in the West. However, the March PHSI declined by 1.5% in the Northeast and 2.5% in the Midwest. Year-over-year, the PHSI increased in all four regions. The West, South and Midwest increased by 15.6%, 12.4% and 11.3% respectively from the same period a year ago, while the Northeast increased by a slight 0.6% over March 2014.
The string of positive pending sales releases during the first quarter of 2015 contrasts with the disappointing first quarter GDP results released earlier this morning. However, the good PHSI report suggests continued good news for the existing sales market and for builders in 2015.