Pending home sales declined nationally for the eighth straight month in February, the National Association of Realtors reports today. Modest increases were evident in the Midwest and West, which were offset by declines in the Northeast and South; all regions are below a year ago.
The Pending Home Sales Index, based on contract signings, dipped 0.8 percent to 93.9 from 94.7 in January, and is 10.5 percent below February 2013 when it was 104.9. The February reading was the lowest since October 2011, when it was 92.2, the association reports.
Locally in the lower Hudson Valley, though, the winter season did freeze sales in February, but realtors say there were modest increases regionally.
“January was a good month for sales and while the cold February slowed things down sales are picking up as spring begins,” said Jonathan Lerner of Real Living Five Corners in Scarsdale.
And NAR’s Chief Economist Lawrence Yun says there is reason for optimism.
“Contract signings for the past three months have been little changed, implying the market appears to be stabilizing,” he said in a press release. “Moreover, buyer traffic information from our monthly Realtor survey shows a modest turnaround, and some weather delayed transactions should close in the spring.”
Pending home sales in the Northeast declined 2.4 percent to 77.1 in February, and is 7.4 percent below a year ago.
Total existing-home sales are forecast at 5.0 million this year, just below the nearly 5.1 million in 2013. Housing starts are projected to rise almost 19 percent in 2014, and reach about 1.1 million, closer to the underlying demand of 1.5 million.
The property shown in the photo above is in Amawalk/ town of Somers and is on the market for $1,270,000, which reflects a $25,000 price reduction made Wednesday. The four-bedroom home was first put on the market in mid February through William Raveis.