Pending home sales spiked a stunning 44.3% in May compared with April, according to the National Association of Realtors.
That is the largest one-month jump in the history of the survey, which dates to 2001. It beat expectations of a 15% gain. Sales were still 5.1% lower compared with May 2019, however.
Pending sales measure signed contracts on existing homes, so it shows that buyers were out shopping during the month of May. Sales had fallen 22% for the month in April, as the economy shut down to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
“This has been a spectacular recovery for contract signings, and goes to show the resiliency of American consumers and their evergreen desire for homeownership,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. “This bounce back also speaks to how the housing sector could lead the way for a broader economic recovery.”
The supply of existing homes for sale at the end of May was nearly 19% lower annually, according to the NAR. Single-family housing starts in May were not as strong as expected, although building permits, a measure of future construction, did gain some steam.