Pending home sales increased again in March, adding to a upswing in home sales during the 2010 spring home buying season, according to the National Association of Realtors.
The Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking indicator based on contracts signed in March, rose 5.3% to 102.9, up from 97.7 in February 2010, which was itself an 8.3% increase. The March index is also up 21.1% over March 2009 (when the index was 85.0).
The data reflects contracts and not closings, which usually occur with a lag time of one or two months.
"Clearly the home buyer tax credit has helped stabilize the market," said Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist. "In the months immediately following the expiration of the tax credit, we expect measurably lower sales Later in the second half of the year, and into 2011, home sales will likely become self-sustaining if the economy can add jobs at a respectable pace, and from a return of buyer demand as they see home values stabilizing.”
An index of 100 is equal to the average level of contract activity during 2001, which was the first year to be examined as well as the first of five consecutive record years for existing-home sales.
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