New property data on pending home sales transactions continues to add to the cautious optimism regarding the housing market and the economic recovery.
The National Association of Realtors' Pending Home Sales Index increased 4.1 percent to 101.4 compared to the February index mark of just 97.4. The report was also a new recent high for pending sales, as it was the highest score seen since April 2010 and showed a nearly 13 percent spike since last year.
"The housing market has clearly turned the corner. Rising sales are bringing down inventory and creating much more balanced conditions around the county, which means home prices will be rising in more areas as the year progresses," said Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist.
However, in terms of overall mortgage volume, the increases in purchases have not been enough to balance out the declining numbers of refinance borrowers seen in recent mortgage records.
The most recent weekly report from the Mortgage Bankers Association found that purchase applications were up by more than 2 percent during the week ending April 20. However, refinances had slipped to a 73.4 percent share of the market - well off recent highs.