The National Association of Realtors released Pending Home Sales data today.
A sale is listed as "pending" when a contract to purchase an existing home has been signed but the transaction has not closed. The index is based on a large national sample, typically representing about 20 percent of transactions for existing-home sales. In developing the model for the index, it was demonstrated that the level of monthly pending home sales parallels the level of closed existing-home sales in the following two months.
From the release:
The Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking indicator based on contracts signed in February, rose 8.2 percent to 97.6 from a downwardly revised 90.2 in January, and remains 17.3 percent above February 2009 when it was 83.2. The data reflects contracts signed, not closings, which usually occur with a lag time of one or two months after the home sales contract is signed.