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In January, pending sales shot up 5.2 percent, according to the latest National Association of REALTORS® Pending Home Sales Index, based on contract signings. In the Index, the jump translates to a 108.8. A 100 is on par with signings in 2001.

On an annual basis, contracts increased 5.7 percent.

Credit: National Association of REALTORS®

Comparing December to January, only one region stalled: the West, which fell 1.1 percent to a 92.6 reading. However, compared to the prior year, contracts in the region rose 5.5 percent. Both month-over-month and year-over-year, all other regions saw upticks.

According to data from January on realtor.com®, buyer demand strengthened in: Fort Wayne, Ind.; San Francisco, Calif.; Sacramento, Calif.; Lafayette, Ind.; and San Jose, Calif.

“This month’s solid activity—the second-highest monthly figure in over two years—is due to the good economic backdrop and exceptionally low mortgage rates,” explains Lawrence Yun, chief economist at NAR. “We are still lacking in inventory…Inventory availability will be the key to consistent future gains. With housing starts hovering at 1.6 million in December and January, along with the favorable mortgage rates, among other factors, 2020 has so far presented a very positive sales climate. Moreover, the latest stock market correction could provide exceptional, even lower mortgage rates for a few weeks, and that would help bring about a noticeable upturn in the coming months.”

For more information, please visit www.nar.realtor.

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