NAR's Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI) eased 0.5% to 96.5 in February, a small drop from 97.0 in January. It is 9.2% above February 2011, when it was 88.4.
The PHSI in the Northeast slipped 0.6% to 77.7 in February, but was 18.4% above a year ago. In the Midwest, the index jumped 6.5% to 93.8 and is 19% higher than in February 2011. Pending home sales in the South fell 3% to an index of 105.8 in February, but were 7.8% above a year ago. In the West, the index declined 2.6% in February to 99.3 and was 1.8% below February 2011.
‘The spring home buying season looks bright because of an elevated level of contract offers so far this year,’ says NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. ‘If activity is sustained near present levels, existing-home sales will see their best performance in five years. Based on all of the factors in the current market, that's what we're expecting with sales rising seven to 10 percent in 2012.’