WASHINGTON, D.C. (Associated Press) – The National Association of Realtors announced Monday that its seasonally adjusted index of home sales agreements rose 8.2 percent from January to February.

January’s reading was revised slightly downward to 90.2, and the February reading was 97.6.

The index is considered a barometer for future sales activity because there is typically a one- to two-month lag between a signed sales contract and a completed deal.

Sales increased 9 percent in the South and Northeast from January to February, fell nearly 5 percent in the West and rose nearly 22 percent in the Midwest.