In this article, HousingWire reports that February’s pending home sales, despite being slightly below expectations, still may show promise. Despite previous months seeing totals higher than those from February 2021, the number of pending home sales still represented the third highest reading in the index’s history. The index was also 15.8% higher than a year ago, which is the biggest year-over-year gain since May 2013.

Although the sales were slightly lower than expected, it looks like the shift in housing activities is likely a result of the winter weather that occurred over the month. Prospective buyers had difficulty scheduling safe in-person visits and chose to wait until they could once again feel confident in their safety. This “pull-ahead effect” has been a trend throughout the pandemic, as people look ahead but want to wait until they feel comfortable.

In addition to the weather, the fact that mortgage interest rates rose quickly throughout the month likely played a role. Housing demand has been higher when rates are low, so more people are looking to get in on the potential savings. Higher rates may have caused buyers to postpone their applications as well, not wanting to pay more for a home than if they had waited just a little bit longer.

All in all, despite sales numbers being slightly lower than initially anticipated, there are signs that the housing market is still on an upward trajectory. There is an underlying force of people wanting to buy if the conditions are just right, and hopefully, with these pending home sales providing a hint of that, the housing market is able to take the next step in regaining the strong activity from before the pandemic.

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