Forexpros – Pending home sales in the U.S. increased more-than-expected in January, rising close to a two-year high, industry data showed on Monday

In a report, the National Association of Realtors said its pending home sales index rose by 2.0% in January, doubling expectations for a 1.0% gain.

Pending home sales for December were revised to a 1.9% drop from a previously reported 3.5% decline.

Year-on-year, pending home sales rose at annualized rate of 10.3% in January, missing expectations for a 10.7% increase, after rising 4.4% in December.

Commenting on the report NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun said pending home sales are on an upward trend and added that this is a hopeful indicator going into the spring home-buying season.

“Given more favorable housing market conditions, the trend in contract activity implies we are on track for a more meaningful sales gain this year,” he said.

“With a sustained downtrend in unsold inventory, this would bring about a broad price stabilization or even modest national price growth, of course with local variations,” Yun added.

Following the release of the data, the U.S. dollar held on to gains against the euro, with EUR/USD dropping 0.48% to trade at 1.3385.

Meanwhile, U.S. equity markets were broadly lower after the open. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.5%, the S&P 500 index slumped 0.5%, while the Nasdaq Composite index declined 0.6%.