Pending home sales edged down in June, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), which forecast near-term sales in the U.S. notably lower than during the months that approached expiration of the homebuyer tax credit.
The Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking indicator, declined 2.6 percent to 75.7 based on contracts signed in June from an upwardly revised level of 77.7 in May. It was 18.6 percent below June 2009. Commented Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist:
There could be a couple of additional months of slow home-sales activity before picking up later in the year, provided the job market continues to improve.
Over the short term, inventory will look high relative to home sales. However, since home prices have come down to fundamentally justifiable levels, there isn’t likely to be any meaningful change to national home values. Some local markets continue to show strengthening prices.
Yun expects mortgage interest rates to remain historically low for the balance of the year, with very modest growth in employment.
“We really need to see stronger job creation to have a meaningful recovery in the housing markets,” he said, reflecting widespread opinion.
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