Pending Home Sales Drop 1.4% From May

Pending Home SalesA ”sale pending” sign is posted in front of a home in San Francisco, California.

Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

UPDATE:Pending home sales declined in June from a month earlier, as homes in contract fell 1.4 per cent, new data from the National Association of Realtors shows.

At that pace, pending sales remain 8.4 per cent above the rate seen in June 2011.

The National Association of Realtors chalked the decline up to a large imbalance between buyer and seller interest.

“Buyer interest remains strong but fewer home listings mean fewer contract signing opportunities,” NAR Chief Economist Lawrence 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.”

Pending sales declined in the Northeast, South, and Midwest, off by as much as 7.6 per cent in the country’s northern corridor. 

Sales continued to strengthen in the West, up 3.0 per cent from May’s report.

Delays with foreclosures also appear to be impacting home sales, as banks work to properly file paperwork following robo-signing settlements.

“This is causing an uneven performance in sales closings, which is likely to continue, but we also see notably higher levels of sales activity compared with a relatively flat performance in the preceding four years,” Yun said.

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Minutes away from June’s pending home sales report.

Economists polled by Bloomberg forecast the index of sales in contract increased 0.3 per cent sequentially last month.

If that holds, it would represent a 12.1 per cent gain from the year ago period.

However estimates vary strikingly for the June report, with economists split. Estimates range from a fall of 4.0 per cent to an improvement of as much as 4.0 per cent.

The National Association of Realtors will release its report at 10:00 a.m.

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