Today, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) released their Pending Home Sales Report for February showing home sales increasing slightly with the seasonally adjusted national index climbing 2.14% since January while remaining 8.19% below the level seen in February 2010.
Meanwhile, the NARs chief economist Lawrence Yun appears to be doing all he can to portray this latest data-point in a favorable light.
"Month-to-month movements can be instructive, but in this uneven recovery it’s important to look at the longer term performance. ... 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."
Looking at the confluence of truly hideous trends currently playing out for housing it's no wonder the NAR is grasping for any positive number but the writing is on the wall... housing is now within a notable post-government manipulated second dip.
The following chart shows the seasonally adjusted national pending home sales index along with the percent change on a year-over-year basis as well as the percent change from the peak set in 2005 (click for larger version).