As we noted on Twitter earlier, Pending Home Sales for the month of February came in better than expected, rising by 0.8% compared to forecasts for a 3.0% decline.  Wednesday’s report also marked the first string of back to back to back positive and better-than-expected readings since the second half of 2020. While the increases are welcomed, we would note that on a y/y basis, Pending Home Sales remain depressed. Relative to a year ago, February Pending Home sales declined 21.1% which is actually an improvement from late last year when they were down over 30% for three straight months.

A 20%+ y/y decline in Pending Home Sales is not unprecedented, but it isn’t common either.  Prior to the current period, the only other times they were down over 20% were in the early months of COVID and in a handful of other months during and immediately after the financial crisis.  What has been unprecedented about the current period is the fact that Pending Home Sales has been down 20%+ for nine straight months!  Going back to 2002, there was never another period where Pending Home Sales were down 20%+ or more for even three months let alone nine!

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