The Pending Home Sales increased 1.7% in January, and was up 8.4% from the same period a year ago. The Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI), a forward-looking indicator based on signed contracts reported by theNational Association of Realtors (NAR), increased to 104.2 in January, up from an upwardly revised 102.5 in December. The PHSI increased year-over-year for the fifth consecutive month.
The January PHSI increased 3.2% in the South, 2.2% in the West and 0.1% in the Northeast, but decreased 0.7% in the Midwest. Year-over-year, the PHSI increased in all four regions, ranging from 11.4% in the West to 4.2% in the Midwest.
This resumption of an upward trend in the PHSI suggests that, despite a dip in January, existing home saleswill improve over the next couple of months. Improved job growth will sustain the housing recovery and move it to a higher level during 2015.