According to the National Association of Realtors’ Pending Home Sales Index, contract signings were relatively flat in February, down 0.5 percent from January. But despite a slow month, pending home sales were 9.2 percent above February 2011. Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, said the spring home buying season looks bright due to elevated contract offers so far this year. According to Yun, if the level of current activity is sustained throughout the year, existing-home sales would reach their highest level in nearly five years. Regionally, the Midwest spiked 6.5 percent and is up nearly 20 percent over last year, though all other regions suffered decreases. Pending home sales are a forward-looking indicator that reflect contract signings but not closings. More here.