Contracts to buy US homes hit highest level since April - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Contracts to buy US homes hit highest level since April

Posted: Updated:
  • NationalMore>>

  • Judges decline to immediately throw out congressional map

    Judges decline to immediately throw out congressional map

    Friday, February 23 2018 7:19 PM EST2018-02-24 00:19:51 GMT
    A panel of three Republican-appointed federal judges is in place to consider a request by eight sitting GOP congressmen in Pennsylvania to halt the use of a new congressional district map in this year's elections.More >>
    A panel of three Republican-appointed federal judges is in place to consider a request by eight sitting GOP congressmen in Pennsylvania to halt the use of a new congressional district map in this year's elections.More >>
  • Greitens blames politics, but even some in GOP concerned

    Greitens blames politics, but even some in GOP concerned

    Friday, February 23 2018 7:19 PM EST2018-02-24 00:19:46 GMT
    (St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department/St. Louis Post-Dispatch via AP). A booking photo provided by the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department shows Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens on Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018.  A St. Louis grand jury has indicted Greit...(St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department/St. Louis Post-Dispatch via AP). A booking photo provided by the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department shows Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens on Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018. A St. Louis grand jury has indicted Greit...
    Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens is defiant, even amid calls for impeachment or resignation, after a St. Louis grand jury indicts him for felony invasion of privacy.More >>
    Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens is defiant, even amid calls for impeachment or resignation, after a St. Louis grand jury indicts him for felony invasion of privacy.More >>
  • More companies end ties with NRA as pressure mounts

    More companies end ties with NRA as pressure mounts

    Friday, February 23 2018 7:19 PM EST2018-02-24 00:19:42 GMT
    Investment firm Blackrock wants to know how gun makers will respond to school massacre in Parkland, Florida, and elsewhere.More >>
    Investment firm Blackrock wants to know how gun makers will respond to school massacre in Parkland, Florida, and elsewhere.More >>

By PAUL WISEMAN
AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) - More Americans signed contracts to buy homes last month as warm weather and rising confidence appeared to encourage consumers to look for houses.

The National Association of Realtors said Wednesday that its pending home sales index climbed 5.5 percent in February to 112.3, its highest point since April and its second-highest point since 2006.

Lawrence Yun, the Realtors' chief economist, suggested that a rising stock market had helped bolster confidence. "Last month being the warmest February in decades also played a role in kick-starting prospective buyers' house hunt," Yun said.

In addition, rising prices may have nudged some Americans into making offers for homes now out of fear of having to pay more if they wait.

The NAR's index of pending home sales rose 11.4 percent in the Midwest, 4.3 percent in the South, 3.4 percent in the Northeast and 3.1 percent in the West.

The U.S. housing market is looking strong despite a sharp rise in mortgage rates since the presidential election. The average on a benchmark 30-year fixed rate loan was 4.23 percent last week, up from 3.54 percent the week before the Nov. 8 vote.

Investors bid up rates in part out of expectation that President Donald Trump's plans to cut taxes and increase spending on defense and infrastructure would raise economic growth and inflation.

The Realtors reported last week that sales of existing homes fell in February after having surged in January to the fastest pace in a decade. Sales were still up solidly from a year earlier.

The supply of homes for sale is tight and is helping to drive prices up and affordability down. The number of listings for sale has tumbled 6.4 percent over the past year to 1.75 million homes last month, up only slightly from a record low in January.

The supply of homes for sale has fallen on an annual basis for the past 21 months.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • More From wfmj.comHot ClicksMore>>

  • 'Heartbroken' Kenworthy visits South Korean dog meat farm

    'Heartbroken' Kenworthy visits South Korean dog meat farm

    Friday, February 23 2018 4:51 PM EST2018-02-23 21:51:21 GMT
    (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon). In this Friday, Feb. 23, 2018, photo, American freestyle skier Gus Kenworthy, left, and his boyfriend Matthew Wilkas watch dogs in cages at a dog meat farm in Siheung, South Korea. Kenworthy saved five stray dogs during the S...(AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon). In this Friday, Feb. 23, 2018, photo, American freestyle skier Gus Kenworthy, left, and his boyfriend Matthew Wilkas watch dogs in cages at a dog meat farm in Siheung, South Korea. Kenworthy saved five stray dogs during the S...
    The Associated Press joined American freestyle skier Gus Kenworthy on a tour of a Korean dog meat farm that's about to be shuttered by the Humane Society International.More >>
    The Associated Press joined American freestyle skier Gus Kenworthy on a tour of a Korean dog meat farm that's about to be shuttered by the Humane Society International.More >>
  • US doing little to combat Russia meddling in next elections

    US doing little to combat Russia meddling in next elections

    Friday, February 23 2018 1:49 PM EST2018-02-23 18:49:20 GMT
    (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File). FILE - In this Feb. 13, 2018, file photo, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats speaks at a Senate Select Committee on Intelligence hearing on worldwide threats in Washington. The Russians are going to try it again...(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File). FILE - In this Feb. 13, 2018, file photo, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats speaks at a Senate Select Committee on Intelligence hearing on worldwide threats in Washington. The Russians are going to try it again...
    Even as elections near, US has done little to aggressively combat the kinds of Russian meddling that was recently unmasked in federal court.More >>
    Even as elections near, US has done little to aggressively combat the kinds of Russian meddling that was recently unmasked in federal court.More >>
  • Indian partners hawk dinner talk with Trump Jr for $39,000

    Indian partners hawk dinner talk with Trump Jr for $39,000

    Friday, February 23 2018 3:27 AM EST2018-02-23 08:27:27 GMT
    (AP Photo). The eldest son of U.S. President Donald Trump, Donald Trump Jr. , center, stands in front of Trump Towers after its inauguration in Pune, India, Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018. Donald Trump Jr. said any talk that his family was profiting from his...(AP Photo). The eldest son of U.S. President Donald Trump, Donald Trump Jr. , center, stands in front of Trump Towers after its inauguration in Pune, India, Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018. Donald Trump Jr. said any talk that his family was profiting from his...
    Want an evening out with Donald Trump Jr.? Sorry, even if you have an extra $39,000 it's probably too late to buy a "conversation and dinner" with the eldest son of the American president as he visits India.More >>
    Want an evening out with Donald Trump Jr.? Sorry, even if you have an extra $39,000 it's probably too late to buy a "conversation and dinner" with the eldest son of the American president as he visits India.More >>
Powered by Frankly
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2018 WFMJ. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms