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Financial News: U.S. Pending Home Sales Unexpectedly Drop 0.8% In

U.S. Pending Home Sales Unexpectedly Drop 0.8% In July

08/31/2017 - 10:15:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - With inventory woes throughout the country continuing to stall contract activity, the National Association of Realtors released a report on Thursday showing an unexpected drop in pending home sales in the U.S. in the month of July.

NAR said its pending home sales index fell by 0.8 percent to 109.1 in July from a downwardly revised 110.0 in June. Economists had expected pending home sales to rise by 0.5 percent.

A pending home sale is one in which a contract was signed but not yet closed. Normally, it takes four to six weeks to close a contracted sale.

"With the exception of a minimal gain in the West, pending sales were weaker in most areas in July as house hunters saw limited options for sale and highly competitive market conditions," said NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun.

"The housing market remains stuck in a holding pattern with little signs of breaking through," he added. "The pace of new listings is not catching up with what's being sold at an astonishingly fast pace."

The unexpected decrease in pending home sales was partly due to a notable decline in pending sales in the South, which slumped by 1.7 percent.

Pending home sales in the Midwest and Northeast also fell by 0.7 percent and 0.3 percent, respectively, while pending sales in the West climbed by 0.6 percent.

Yun expects existing home sales to close out the year at around 5.49 million, which is only an increase of 0.7 percent from 2016, NAR said.

NAR also said the national median existing home price this year is expected to increase around 5 percent. Last year, existing sales increased 3.8 percent and prices rose 5.1 percent.

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