Pending home sales climbed 2.1% to a reading of 90.8 in February, according to a report released Monday by the National Association of Realtors (NAR).
Economists polled by Thomson Reuters predicted a 1.0% decrease for the index.
The January index was unrevised at 88.9 reading.
Year-over-year the pending homes sales index was down 8.2% from last February, when the index was 98.9.
Regionally, pending sales were mixed. The Northeast saw a 10.9% decrease to 65.5, while sales rose 2.7% to 100.3 in the South and increased 4.0% in the Midwest to 81.1. Sales gained 7.0% to 105.6 in the West.
“Month-to-month movements can be instructive, but in this uneven recovery it’s important to look at the longer term performance,” NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said. “Pending home sales have trended up very nicely since bottoming out last June, even with periodic monthly declines. Contract activity is now 20 percent above the low point immediately following expiration of the home buyer tax credit,” he said.
Noting that only the Northeast saw a drop in pending sales in the month, Yun suggested, it might have been weather-related.