Pending home sales fell 1.3% in July, missing a Bloomberg consensus of -1%.
It is still up 14.4% year-over-year.
Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said sales activity is underperforming. “The market can easily move into a healthy expansion if mortgage underwriting standards return to normalcy,” he said. “We also need to be mindful that not all sales contracts are leading to closed existing-home sales. Other market frictions need to be addressed, such as assuring that proper comparables are used in appraisal valuations, and streamlining the short sales process.”
The PHSI in the Northeast declined 2.0 per cent to 67.5 in July but is 9.7 per cent above July 2010. In the Midwest the index slipped 0.8 per cent to 79.1 in July but is 18.8 per cent above a year ago. Pending home sales in the South fell 4.8 per cent to an index of 94.4 but are 9.5 per cent higher than July 2010. In the West the index rose 3.6 per cent to 110.8 in July and is 20.6 per cent above a year ago.
In more bad housing news last week new home sales fell to 298K, missing estimates.
Preview: Last month pending home sales increased 2.4%. This month a Bloomberg survey expected a 1% decrease, though its consensus ranged from -2% to 2.5%.