Even though sales of existing homes dropped by 4.9 percent
in January buyers were apparently out shopping and seriously so. The National Association of Realtors® said that its Pending
Home Sales Index (PHSI) climbed to 104.2 in January, a 1.7 percent increase
from December and the highest level for the index since August 2013.
The January PHSI was 8.4 percent higher than the one for January
2014. It was the fifth consecutive month
of year-over-year gains and NAR said that each month has accelerated the annual
gain from the prior month. In addition
the December number was revised upward from 100.7 to 102.5, erasing about half
of the previously reported 3.7 percent November to December loss.