More Homes Homes Go Under Contract—Except in One U.S. Region

pending home sales in March

Courtney Keating/iStock

Home buyers have been out in force this spring, as the number of homes under contract got a boost last month—except in the Western swath of the country, where the cost of buying is intimidatingly high.

March pending home sales, which are purchases that have yet to close, were up 30.1% from February and 2.9% compared with a year earlier, according to the National Association of Realtors® Pending Home Sales Index.That’s looking at the actual numbers, instead of the seasonally adjusted ones that compensate for the different pace of home buying at different times of the year.

“Everything points to a very strong spring and summer for real estate,” says Jonathan Smoke, chief economist of®. He adds that sales typically go up as the

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