Pending home sales gained 0.4% to an index reading of 107.6 in March, from a downwardly revised 107.2 in February, first reported as a 3.1% rise to 107.5, according to a report released Monday by the National Association of Realtors.

An index of 100 is equal to the average level of contract activity during 2001.

pending home sales

Year-over-year the pending homes sales index decreased 3.0% from last March, when the index was 110.9.

IFR Markets predicted the index would be up 0.9%.

Regionally, pending sales were mixed. The Northeast saw a 5.6% decline to 90.6, and sales grew 2.4% to 101.3 in the Midwest, while rising 2.5% in the South to 128.6 , and sliding 1.1% in the West to 94.7.

“Healthy economic conditions are creating considerable demand for purchasing a home, but not all buyers are able to sign contracts because of the lack of choices in inventory,” NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said. “Steady price growth and the swift pace listings are coming off the market are proof that more supply is needed to fully satisfy demand. What continues to hold back sales is the fact that prospective buyers are increasingly having difficulty finding an affordable home to buy.”

“Much of the country is enjoying a thriving job market, but buying a home is becoming more expensive,” Yun said.

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Gary Siegel

Gary Siegel

Gary Siegel has been at The Bond Buyer since 1989, currently covering economic indicators and the Federal Reserve system.