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Demand is booming and mortgage rates are still low, but pending home sales continued to contract in February due to a razor-thin inventory, according to the latest report from the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR).

NAR’s Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI), a forward-looking indicator of home sales based on contract signings, showed a 10.6% decline last month, to 110.3. Year-over-year, contract signings fell 0.5%.

According to the report, each of the four major U.S. regions saw month-over-month declines in February, while results were mixed in the four regions year-over-year.

Regional Breakdown:

Northeast 
-9.2% MoM — 92.3 PHSI
-3.9% YoY

Midwest
-9.5% MoM — 102.4 PHSI
-6.1% YoY

South
-13% MoM — 133.2 PHSI
+2.9% YoY

West
-7.4% MoM — 96.9 PHSI
+1.9% YoY

What the Industry Is Saying:

“The demand for a home purchase is widespread, multiple offers are prevalent and days on market are swift, but contracts are not clicking due to record-low inventory. Only the upper-end market is experiencing more activity because of reasonable supply. Demand, interestingly, does not yet appear to be impacted by recent modest rises in mortgage rates.

“Potential buyers may have to enlarge their geographic search areas, given the current tight market. If there were a larger pool of inventory to select from—ideally a five- or a six-month supply—then more buyers would be able to purchase properties at an affordable price.” — Lawrence Yun, National Association of REALTORS® Chief Economist

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

Jordan Grice is RISMedia’s associate online editor. Email him your real estate news ideas to jgrice@rismedia.com.

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