The Pending Home Sales Index is put out by the National Association of Realtors (the NAR). It tracks the number of home sales under contract. This tends to lead the actual home sales data by a few months. Home sales data is an indicator of the real estate market’s health. Recently, the market has been characterized by limited supply, as homeowners who aren’t desperate to sell have removed their properties in hopes of getting a better price. While the headline real estate appreciation numbers have been large, they’ve been concentrated primarily in the major West Coast markets, especially the markets hit the hardest in the downturn. The rest of the country has been experiencing low single-digit appreciation.