The National Association of Realtors (NAR) released its pending home sales figures for the U.S. on Monday. Pending home sales in the U.S. rose 3.1% in February, exceeding expectations for a 0.5% increase, after a 1.2% gain in January. January's figure was revised down from a 1.7% rise.
The NAR's chief economist Lawrence Yun said that pending home sales were driven by strengthening labour market, mortgage rates and higher demand. But he added that "the underlying obstacle - especially for first-time buyers - continues to be the depressed level of homes available for sale".