More Americans signed contracts to buy homes in February, evidence that the spring buying season could open strong after sluggish sales for much of the winter.
The National Association of Realtors says its seasonally adjusted pending home sales index climbed 3.1 per cent to 106.9 last month, the highest reading since June 2013.
Buying activity jumped in the Midwest and West, while dipping slightly in the Northeast and South. The gains suggest that housing should overcome the recent hurdles of freezing weather and blistering snowstorms, as both buyers and potential sellers return to the market.
Pending sales are a barometer of future purchases. A one- to two-month lag usually exists between a contract and a completed sale