Pending US homes sales reach 10-month high

The pending home sales index hit its highest level since April 2016: NAR

Single family homes in the U.S. (Credit: Rachel Elaine via Flickr)
Single family homes in the U.S. (Credit: Rachel Elaine via Flickr)

The number of pending U.S. home sales reached a 10-month high in February, according to the National Association of Realtors.

The index, which tracks contract signings on previously owned homes, jumped 5.5 percent in February to reach 112.3, the Wall Street Journal reported. That’s the highest level since April 2016 and the second-highest level since May 2006, according to the newspaper.

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Warmer weather and gains on the stock market could be causing the stronger sales, Lawrence Yun, the NAR chief economist said, according to the Journal. The expectation the Federal Reserve will continue to lift interest rates this year may also have encouraged people to buy homes, Yun said.

Earlier this month, the central bank raised rates for the third time since the late-2000s financial crisis.  Officials also indicated they will raise interest rates at least twice more this year. [WSJ]Miriam Hall