Pending Home Sales Slip in June, Remain Above a Year Ago

Pending home sales declined in June but marked 14 consecutive months of year-over-year gains, according to the National Association of Realtors®

The Pending Home Sales Index,* a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings, slipped 1.4 percent to 99.3 in June from a downwardly revised 100.7 in May but is 9.5 percent higher than June 2011 when it was 90.7.  The data reflect contracts but not closings.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said inventory shortages are a factor.  “Buyer interest remains strong but fewer home listings mean fewer contract signing opportunities,” Yun said.  “We’ve been seeing a steady decline in the level of housing inventory, which is most pronounced in the lower price ranges popular with first-time buyers and investors.”

According to the Realtors® Confidence Index, the buyer traffic index stood at 60 in June while the seller index was 41, which shows a large imbalance between buyer and seller interest.  A value of 50 implies neutral market conditions; the disparity between buyers and sellers began to grow in early spring and has been in a particularly large imbalance for the past two months.

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