National Association of Home Builders economist Stephen Melman detects signs of restored fundamentals in the latest print of the National Association of Realtors Pending Home Sales Index, a forward indicator of existing home sales.
Melman notes that the index increased to 109.1 in February from a downwardly revised 105.4 in January, and was 0.7% above the same month a year ago. Mojo cropped up in the Midwest and South, while the West and Northeast were essentially flat. Melman's take-away:
Existing sales tumbled 7.2% in January. After several months of volatility, improving economic conditions and rising employment suggest a return to a steady recovery in existing sales. However, the long-term weakness among first-time buyers will continue to dampen all sales in 2016.