US pending home sales surged higher in May, registering the highest month-on-month gain in four years, the National Association of Realtors said Monday.
The NAR's pending home sales index jumped 6.1 percent in May to 103.9, the first time the index has topped 100 since last November.
But compared with a year ago, May pending home sales were down 5.2 percent
Pending sales of existing homes reflect contracts that are signed but not closed, indicating future activity. .
Sales rose in all regions of the country, with the Northeast and West scoring the sharpest increases.
Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said home sales were expected to improve in the second half of the year as the economy improves.
"Sales should exceed an annual pace of five million homes in some of the upcoming months behind favorable mortgage rates, more inventory and improved job creation," he said.
"However, second-half sales growth won't be enough to compensate for the sluggish first quarter and will likely fall below last year's total."