Contract Signings Edge Forward In March

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When a homeowner accepts an offer to buy their home, that home’s sale is considered pending until the deal has closed. Because there are usually a few weeks between the contract signing and closing, tracking pending sales can be a good way of forecasting future home sales activity. For that reason, the National Association of Realtors’ Pending Home Sales Index tracks contract signings each month. In March, the index was up slightly from the month before but fell short of last year’s level. Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, says sales would be higher if there were more homes available for sale. “Healthy economic conditions are creating considerable demand for purchasing a home, but not all buyers are able to sign contracts because of the lack of choices in inventory,” Yun said. “Steady price growth and the swift pace listings are coming off the market are proof that more supply is needed to fully satisfy demand.” In other words, though the economy has improved and Americans are interested in buying, in many markets, there are more buyers than homes for sale, which means buyers must be prepared to act fast, if they’re shopping this spring. More here.

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