Gino Blefari
Senior Vice President of HSF Affiliates
HomeServices of America, Inc

The number of pending home sales was up substantially in May from April, but remained below average for the same month a year ago. What this means is the housing market is gaining steam as the year goes on, but we’re still in a slower market compared with last year.

The numbers came out in the National Association of Realtors’Pending Home Sales Index this week. The index, which tracks contract signings and provides a forecast of sales to come, increased 6.1% to 103.9 in May from 97.9 in April. It was 5.2% below May 2013.

Of note was that pending sales saw the largest monthly gain in May since April 2010.

More good news was that pending sales were not isolated in certain regions. The pending sales index in the Northeast climbed 8.8% to 86.3 in May, and increased 6.3% in the Midwest to 105.4. Meanwhile, the index was up 4.4% in the South to 117, and up 7.6% in the West to 95.4.

Where will this lead us at the end of the year and going into 2015?

NAR’s economist believes the market will continue to gain steam, though not enough to offset the sluggish beginning of the year. So while we may see a year with overall fewer home sales, we will see a market that’s likely gaining steam at a faster pace by early 2015.

We of course, also know that the most relevant market activity is the most local. This means that some of our local markets – like those in the San Francisco Bay Area and Silicon Valley – will likely end the year on some record highs. But at the same time, other local markets through the Midwest and South, will be in good shape but potentially below last year’s levels.

It’s all in where you sit.