Two reports released Monday, April 5, showed a continued thawing in the economy. Pending home sales surged 8.2% in February, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), offering some positive news on the staggering housing market. Second, a report on the services sector showed it grew in March at its fastest pace in nearly four years.
Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said the housing report “may signal the early stages of a second surge of home sales this spring,” and likely reflected the effects of the tax credit to buy homes.
February’s index of pending home sales jumped to 97.6 from 90.2 in January, and was 17.3% above February 2009, when the index stood was 83.2. The index, a leading indicator of sales trends, reflects contracts and not closings, which usually occur with a lag time of one or two months.
The report helped ease concerns on the disappointing report on existing home sales for February that was released in March. That report showed a 0.6% drop in sales and a big rise in inventory.