The National Association of Realtors released their Pending Home Sales Index that showed a 5.1% increase in contract signings. However, this number doesn’t reflect what is actually happening because they adjust for seasonality. And unless you’ve been living in a dark cave for the past year, you’ll know that the federal homebuyers tax credit wreaked havoc on the housing stats by artificially inflating demand in the first half of 2010 and artificially depressing demand in the second half of 2010 (follow red line in above chart).
The wild swing in contract signings last year is skewing their seasonal adjustments and we may even see the NAR numbers “go negative” later this year as sales rise as a result of this skew.
RBI released their Pending Home Sales Index for Washington, DC back on March 10th – the results are in the chart below:
So lets drop NAR’s seasonal adjustments and compare.
Month over Month (February 2011 to March 2011)
+ 34.1% – The NAR Pending Home Sale Index
+ 34.3% – The RBI Pending Home Sales Index [Washington DC Metro Area]
Year over Year (March 2010 to March 2011)
– 11.5% – The NAR Pending Home Sale Index
+ 2.0% – The RBI Pending Home Sales Index [Washington DC Metro Area]
Note: RealEstate Business Intelligence (RBI) published their Pending Home Sales Index for Washington DC 18 days before the NAR national release allowing their customers to have more advanced market insights.