Data released by the National Association of Realtors last week showed pending home sales continued their downward fall in February, marking the eighth consecutive month of decline.
According to the data, pending homes sales in the Midwest rose 2.8 percent while sales in the West rose 2.3 percent in February. The gains were offset, however, by a decrease of four percent in the South and 2.4 percent in the Northeast.
“Contract signings for the past three months have been little changed, implying the market appears to be stabilizing,” NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said. “Moreover, buyer traffic information from our monthly Realtor survey shows a modest turnaround, and some weather delayed transactions should close in the spring.”
Existing home sales also remained subdued in February as a result of severe weather conditions and rising home prices. Sales declined 0.4 percent, reaching the lowest sales pace since July 2012.
Existing home sales are expected to reach five million in 2014, coming in just short of nearly 5.1 million last year. New construction is expected to increase nearly 19 percent this year to reach 1.1 million, which could reduce the pressure on home prices.
The national median existing-home price is expected to increase between 5.5 percent and six percent this year, compared to 11.5 percent last year.