Pending Sales of Previously Owned U.S. Homes Unexpectedly Fall

28 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Pending Home Sales Index Down 1.4% in August.

Contract signings to purchase previously owned U.S. homes unexpectedly declined in August for just the second time this year, signaling residential real estate might have difficulty building on recent momentum.WASHINGTON—A forward-looking gauge of U.S. home sales slipped in August—further evidence that the surge in momentum in the first half of the year has leveled off.Washington, DC, September 28, 2015—Personal income increased $52.5 billion, or 0.3%, and disposable personal income (DPI) increased $47.1 billion, or 0.4%, in August, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

The National Association of Realtors said Monday its pending home sales index, which is based on signings for purchases of previously owned homes, declined 1.4% to a seasonally-adjusted 109.4 in August, from a reading of 110.9 in July. “Even with existing-housing supply barely budging all summer and no relief coming from new construction, contract activity is still higher than earlier this year and a year ago,” Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the Realtors’ group, said. At the same time, historically low mortgage rates and steady employment gains should help underpin the market as the broader U.S. economy battles headwinds from dollar appreciation and slower overseas growth. “Pending sales have leveled off since mid-summer, with buyers being bounded by rising prices and few available and affordable properties within their budget,” NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun said in a statement. Purchase contracts increased 6.7 percent in the 12 months ended in August after a 7.2 percent annual gain in July on an unadjusted basis, the NAR report showed. Yun said sales in the coming months should be able to maintain their current pace, but he warned a looming government shutdown and further stock-market volatility could cause some buyers to put off home purchases. Inventories decreased 1.7 percent from a year earlier, showing lean stockpiles could limit the enthusiasm of potential home buyers who have fewer properties to choose from.

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