by Rob Wicker
Good news regarding the Pending Homes Sales Index (PHSI) recently released by the National Association of Realtors®. The Index is based on a national sample representing about 20% of existing home sales.
After falling 7.8% in January, the February PHSI rose by 8.2% month over month. Only the West reported a decrease in pending sales. Raymond James, a large securities firm with a strong track record in analyzing the housing industry, stated that the 8.2% increase points to accelerating buyer demand in most markets this spring. Raymond James also believes that contract activity will continue to increase.
There are, as you would expect, plenty of caveats in the Raymond James report. The possibility that banks will unload a flood of distressed properties is the securities firm’s biggest concern.
On the positive side, at least some of those pending sales will close, which means that Realtors will see an increase in commission dollars. Let’s hope the banks manage their distressed inventory prudently, buyer demand continues to accelerate, and the housing market finds some stability.