March pending home sales are almost always greater than February’s — that’s the normal market cycle. The questions are: 1) How much greater than Feb’s, and 2) How much greater than last March’s?

Good news today.

Pending home sales were down from last year, which was expected; in 2010 the home-buyers tax credit was in effect, so numbers were artificially up. So no news there.

They were up from February. Good news there. They were expected to be up about 1.5% but instead jumped 5.1%. That’s really good news.

And the really, really good news? As The Atlantic put it, "The South Drove the Pending Home Sales Jump in March."

According to the regional breakdown, the South played a major role in the month’s jump. In that region, pending sales were the highest they’ve been since before the home buyer credit expired in April 2010.

‘Round these parts they jumped 10.3% over February, in fact.

Chart

Click here to see NAR’s release.

Data geeks click here for an Excel spreadsheet of the data.