The numbers: Pending home sales rose 3.1% to 107.5 in February, the National Association of Realtors said Wednesday. Economists had forecast an increase of 3.0%.
What happened: The NAR Index, which tracks real estate transactions where a contract has been signed but the transaction has not been completed, is helping to predict the sale of privately owned homes. It fell to a three-year low in January and this reading has been revised even deeper.
The February recovery still leaves the index 4.1% down on its prior-year level, although NAR stated in a press release that last February's reading was the second highest in over a decade. Upcoming sales increased 1
Reading: Refinancing has not been so tight ever since Lehman Brothers imploded
The Big Picture: Even though the real estate market is staggering due to low inventory levels and rising prices, NAR thinks it's going to be challenging for 2018. The group revised its forecast for 2018 to show that sales will be 5.51 million compared to 2017, after only 1.1% in 2017.
The group expects the national median inventory price will rise by 4.2% to 5.8%. Annual profit last year.
A sharp rise in prices suggests that demand still outweighs supply. It also contradicts the NAR's view that tax cuts would depress home prices by reducing the incentive to own a home.