February’s pending home sales suffered a double
digit month-over-month decline in February and fell below the pace a year
earlier for the first time in eight months.
The National Association of Realtors® (NAR) said its Pending Home Sales
Index (PHSI) dropped from 122.8 to 110.3, a decline of 10.6 percent from
January and 0.5 percent compared to February 2020. The PHSI reflects contracts
to purchase existing single-family houses, townhomes, condos, and cooperative
apartments and is a leading indicator of existing home sales over the following
one to two months. The PHSI has been trending down since
peaking at 130.3 in August and analysts were anticipating further weakness,
although the size of February’s decline was not reflected in their forecasts. The
consensus of those polled by Econoday was a 3.0 percent loss while Trading
Economics, and Market Watch each posted a consensus of -3.1 percent.