For the second month in a row, pending sales rose in June across the country.
The National Association of Realtors® Pending Home Sales Index, which predicts home sales based on contracts signed, increased 2.8% from 105.4 in May to 108.3 in June. Compared to June 2017, contract signings were up 1.6%, finishing a 17-month year-to-year streak of dwindling signings.
“Job growth is doing well, the stock market is near an all-time high and home values are consistently increasing. When you combine that with the incredibly low mortgage rates, it is not surprising to now see two straight months of increases,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist.
Each region showed growth as well. In the Northeast, contract signings were up 0.9% year-to-year, reaching 94.5 on the index. The South saw an increase of 1.4% year-to-year, hitting 125.7 on the index, while the West rose 2.5%, reaching 96.8 on the index. In the Midwest, a year-to-year increase of 1.7% led to hitting 103.6. An index of 100 or more coincides with a higher level of home sales activity.
NAR found that in June, property sales dropped 1.7% from May, and dropped 2.2% year-to-year, and both single-family homes and condominiums saw price increases.
“Homes are selling at a breakneck pace, in less than a month, on average, for existing homes and three months for newly constructed homes,” he said. “Furthermore, homeowners’ equity in real estate has doubled over the past six years to now nearly $16 trillion. But the number of potential buyers exceeds the number of homes available. We need to see sizable growth in inventory, particularly of entry-level homes, to assure wider access to homeownership,” added Yun.