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Contract Signings See Best Month In A Year

Typically, after a contract to buy a home is signed, there are several weeks until the deal is closed and the sale is final. That means the number of signed contracts in any given month should be a good indicator of the next month's final sales numbers. It also means contract signings can be a more current gauge of buyer demand and what's happening in the market now. That's why the National Association of Realtors tracks them each month. In March, according to newly released data from the NAR, the number of signed contracts to buy homes increased from the month before. In fact, the NAR's Pending Home Sales Index found contracts to buy up 3.4 percent. Lawrence Yun, NAR's chief economist, says it was the best month in a year. “March's Pending Home Sales Index – at 78.2 – marks the best performance in a year, but it still remains in a fairly narrow range over the last 12 months without a measurable breakout,” Yun said. “Meaningful gains will only occur with declining mortgage rates and rising inventory.” Regionally, contracts to buy homes rose in the West, Northeast, and South but fell in the Midwest.



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