Pending home sales climb in April to highest level since May 2006
Led by the Northeast and Midwest, all four major regions saw increases in April.
The Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings, increased 3.4 percent to 112.4 in April from a slight upward revision of 108.7 in March and is now 14 percent above April 2014 (98.6) — the largest annual increase since September 2012 (15.1 percent).
The index has now increased year-over-year for eight consecutive months and is at its highest level since May 2006 (112.5).
After falling four straight months, the PHSI in the Northeast bounced back solidly (10.1 percent) to 88.3 in April, and is now 9.4 percent above a year ago. In the Midwest the index increased 5 percent to 113.0 in April, and is 13.3 percent above April 2014.
Pending home sales in the South rose 2.3 percent to an index of 129.4 in April and are 14.8 percent above last April. The index in the West inched 0.1 percent in April to 103.8, and is 16.4 percent above a year ago.
Total existing-home sales in 2015 are forecast to be around 5.24 million, an increase of 6.1 percent from 2014. The national median existing-home price for all of this year is expected to increase around 6.7 percent.
In 2014, existing-home sales declined 2.9 percent and prices rose 5.7 percent. ■