Pending home sales pick up in June
WASHINGTON — Americans signed more contracts to buy homes in June, snapping a three-month decline in pending sales.
The National Association of Realtors said Monday that its pending home sales index rose 1.5 percent in June to 110.2. The gain still puts the pace of contract signings below its March level. The index has increased just half a point from a year ago.
The U.S. housing market is increasingly confronted with a shortage of properties listed for sale. In the aftermath of the housing bubble bursting a decade ago, there are multiple reasons for the lack of homes available to buy. Investors who bought foreclosed houses during the downturn are now renting them out, while many existing homeowners say that if they sell their house, they cannot afford the down payment to buy a more expensive property.
As a consequence, prices are climbing faster than wages while the number of homes listed for sale has plunged. All of this limits just how much sales volumes can advance.
There were 1.96 million homes for sale in June, a 7.1 percent decline from a year ago.
The median sales price has climbed 6.5 percent over the past year to $263,800, a rate more than double the increase in hourly average earnings.