In March, it was reported that more Americans are signing contracts to purchase hoes as the spring home buying season has begun. On Wednesday, The National Association of Realtors reported that its seasonally adjusted pending home sales index increased 1.4% to 110.5, the highest levels since May of last year. Pending sales gained 3.2% in March in the Northeast and 3% in the South. Following a sharp increase over the past three years, states in the West noted a 1.8% fall in pending home sales last month a 7,9% decline over the past year. Contracts ironed out in the Midwest, inching up just 0.2% in March. Pending sales contracts is a indicator of future purchases. A sale is typically finished a month or two following a contract is signed.
The housing market has been boosted by low mortgage rates. The 30-year fixed rate mortgage last week remained at 3.59%, close to its 2016 lows. The 15-year fixed rate mortgage last week fell to 2.85%, the lowest in almost 3 years. The S&P/Case-Sbiller 20-city home price index increased 5.4% in February from a year prior as buyers fought for scarce homes, according to a report that was released on Tuesday. The Realtors stated last week that sales of existing homes gained 5.1% in March to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.33 million, a partial rally after a surprising fall in February. Though the Commerce Department announced on Monday that sales of new homes dropped 1.5% in March to a seasonally adjusted annual pace of 511,000. Sales fell in the West, which is connected to volatile swings in sales.