Apr 7, 2017
Unseasonably mild February temperatures combined with concern over the potential for higher interest rates have yielded a bumper crop of home sales contracts with realtors seeing some of the healthiest numbers of the past decade.
According to the National Association of REALTORS, figures for pending sales saw month-over-month boosts in every region of the country as buyers began venturing out into a thawing economy.
The Midwest led the way with an 11.4 percent hike bolstering the market though the figures still fell slightly short of where they were at this time a year ago. The association’s other three regions identified smaller month-over-month gains of 3.1 to 4.3 percent though all edged higher than their corresponding February 2016 figures with the South at the head of the pack.
Overall, the nation’s contracts jumped five-and-a-half percent for the month and topped the previous February’s totals by more than two-and-a-half percent. That puts the Pending Home Sales Index at its second-highest point since mid-2006.
Truncated supply remains a damper on the numbers however. The houses people want aren’t always the ones available to buy and a scarcity of homes continues to support heftier price tags often leaving sellers in the catbird seat.
“How much new and existing inventory there is on the market this spring will determine if sales can reach their full potential and finally start reversing the nation’s low homeownership rate,” said Lawrence Yun, the realtor association’s chief economist.