Year-over-year contract signings increased 5.7%.
Regionally, and month-over-month pending home sales increased 8.7% in the South, 7.3% in the Midwest and 1.3% in the Northeast, but decreased 1.1% in the West.
Year-over-year, pending home sales were up in all four regions.
“This month’s solid activity – the second-highest monthly figure in over two years – is due to the good economic backdrop and exceptionally low mortgage rates,” says Lawrence Yun, chief economist for NAR, in a statement.
“We are still lacking in inventory,” Yun says, noting that December’s and January’s combined supply was at the lowest level since 1999. “Inventory availability will be the key to consistent future gains.”
“With housing starts hovering at 1.6 million in December and January, along with the favorable mortgage rates, among other factors, 2020 has so far presented a very positive sales climate,” Yun adds. “Moreover, the latest stock market correction could provide exceptional, even lower mortgage rates for a few weeks, and that would help bring about a noticeable upturn in the coming months.”