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The Week Ahead: Watch for Pending Home Sales

On Monday, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) will release its Pending Home Sales Index for January.

During last month’s NAR index there was a 1.6 percent increase to 109.0 in December 2016, compared to 107.3 percent in November 2016. The index is at a 0.3 percent above its average in December 2015, which was at 108.7 percent.

NAR’s Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said contract activity throughout the country was mixed in December 2016, but finished strong towards the end of the year.

NAR experts expect that the existing home sales to climb by 1.7 percent from 2016 to 5.54 million this year. Last year was the best year for home sales since 2006. The national average of existing home prices are expected to rise by 4 percent.

"Pending sales rebounded last month as enough buyers fended off rising mortgage rates and alarmingly low inventory levels to sign a contract," Yun said. "The main storyline in the early months of 2017 will be if supply can meaningfully increase to keep price growth at a moderate enough level for households to absorb higher borrowing costs. Sales will struggle to build on last year's strong pace if inventory conditions don't improve."

Upcoming News for Monday, February 27

S&P Corelogic Case-Shiller HPI — 9:00 a.m. ET

Pending Home Sales Index — 10:00 a.m.  ET

First-time Buyer, Mortgage Share and Mortgage Risk Indices — 11:00 a.m. ET

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