The National Association of Realtors (NAR) reports that the U.S. housing market had another good month in March, but there are signs that things may be leveling off. The NAR Pending Home Sales Index increased in March and pending home sales have been above year-ago levels for nearly two consecutive years, but contract activity appears to be slowing. NAR analysts blame limited supply as demand for homes continues to improve thanks to a strengthening economy and jobs market. For more on this continue reading the following article from Property Wire.
Pending home sales in the United States increased in March and remain above year ago levels, according to the latest data from the National Association of Realtor
But contract activity in recent months shows only modest movement and this means that the market is showing signs of levelling off, according to NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun.
The NAR Pending Home Sales index, a forward looking indicator based on contract signings, increased by 1.5% to 105.7 in March from a downwardly revised 104.1 in February.
The index is now 7% above March 2012 when it was 98.8. Pending sales have been above year ago levels for the last 23 months.
‘Contract activity has been in a narrow range in recent months, not from a pause in demand but because of limited supply. Little movement is expected in near term sales closings, but they should edge up modestly as the year progresses. Job additions and rising household wealth will continue to support housing demand,’ explained Yun.
The PHSI in the Northeast was unchanged at 82.8 in March and is 6.3% higher than March 2012. In the Midwest the index increased 0.3% to 103.8 in March and is 13.7% above a year ago.
Pending home sales in the South rose 2.7% to an index of 120 in March and are 10.4% higher than March 2012. In the West the index increased 1.5% in March to 102.9 but is 4.3% below a year ago.
NAR said that total existing home sales are projected to increase 6.5 to 7% over 2012 to nearly five million sales this year, while the national median existing home price is forecast to rise about 7.5%.
This article was republished with permission from Property Wire.