Pending homes sales increased in the US for the first time in three months

After declining for three months in a row, pending home sales in the United States increased again in all but one region in June, the latest index report shows.

Only the Midwest saw a fall in activity as elsewhere sales were up by 1.5% and the index from the National Association of Realtors increased annually for the first time since March.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said that the bounce back in pending sales in most of the country in June is a welcoming sign. ‘The first half of 2017 ended with a nearly identical number of contract signings as one year ago, even as the economy added 2.2 million net new jobs,’ he pointed out.

‘Market conditions in many areas continue to be fast paced, with few properties to choose from, which is forcing buyers to act almost immediately on an available home that fits their criteria,’ he explained.

But he added that low supply is an ongoing issue holding back activity. ‘Housing inventory declined last month and is a staggering 7.1% lower than a year ago,’ he said. Heading into the second half of the year, Yun expects existing home sales to finish around 5.56 million, which is an increase of 2.6% from 2016.

The national median existing home price this year is expected to increase around 5%, similar to the 5.1% increase recorded in 2016.

A breakdown of the figures show that pending home sales increased by 0.7% in the Northeast and are now 2.9% higher than a year ago while in the Midwest they fell by 0.5% and are 3.4% lower year on year.

Pending home sales in the South rose 2.1% are now 2.6 percent above last June while in the West they grew 2.9% but are still 1.1% below a year ago.

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