"Just when existing home sales seemed to be showing lift the pending home sales index, which tracks initial contract signings, is down 2.8 percent in the January report. This points to weakness for final resales in February and March.
The West is the culprit in January's data, with contract signings down 9.8 percent in the month for year-on-year contraction of 0.4 percent. The Midwest is also weak, down 5.0 percent in the month for 3.8 percent on-year contraction. The South and the West both show no better than low single digit monthly and yearly gains.