Pending home sales registered a slight tick upward in September, according to the latest data released by the National Association of Realtors (NAR).
NAR's Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI) edged up 0.3% to 99.5 in September from 99.2 in August; it is 14.5% above September 2011, when it was 86.9. NAR adds that pending home sales have risen for 17 consecutive months on a year-over-year basis.
Regionally, the PHSI in the Northeast rose 1.4% to 79.3 in September and is 26.1% higher than a year ago. In the Midwest, the index fell 5.8% to 89.5 in September but is 19.3% above September 2011.Â
Pending home sales in the South increased 1% to an index of 111.5 in September and are 17.6% higher than a year ago. In the West, the index rose 4.3% in September to 106.9, but is only 0.8% above September 2011.
‘Home contract activity remains at an elevated level in contrast with recent years, but currently appears to be bouncing around in a narrow range,’ says Lawrence Yun, NAR's chief economist. ‘This means only minor movement is likely in near-term existing-home sales, but with positive underlying market fundamentals they should continue on an up-trend in 2013.’