Pending home sales bounced back in May, matching the highest level in the past two years, according to the National Association of Realtors' (NAR) Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI).
The PHSI rose 5.9% to 101.1 in May from 95.5 in April, and is 13.3% above the May 2011 level of 89.2. The index also reached 101.1 in March, which is the highest level since April 2010, when buyers sought to beat the deadline for the home buyer tax credit. The NAR PHSI also determines that the national median existing-home price is expected to rise 3% this year and another 5.7% in 2013.
The PHSI in the Northeast increased 4.8% to 82.9 in May and is 19.8% above May 2011. In the Midwest, the index rose 6.3% to 98.9 in May and is 22.1% higher than a year ago.Â
Pending home sales in the South increased 1.1% to an index of 106.9 in May and are 11.9% above May 2011. In the West, the index jumped 14.5% in May to 108.7 and is 4.8% stronger than a year ago.
‘The housing market is clearly superior this year compared with the past four years,’ says Lawrence Yun, NAR's chief economist. ‘The latest increase in home contract signings marks 13 consecutive months of year-over-year gains. Actual closings for existing-home sales have been notably higher since the beginning of the year and we're on track to see a 9 to 10 percent improvement in total sales for 2012.’