US Pending Home Sales + 3.1% in February
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Americans are signing contracts to buy homes, and the pace is + 3.1%, rebounding from a drop in January.
A continuing shortage of homes on the market continues to weigh on the housing market.
The National Association of Realtors (NAR) said Wednesday that its pending sales index rose 3.1% in February to 107.5 after falling 5% in January.
Despite the uptick, the index is still down 4.1 percent from a year earlier.
The chief at economist at NAR, blamed the uneven performance on a shortage of houses for sale. “The minuscule number of listings on the market and its adverse effect on affordability are squeezing buyers and suppressing overall activity,” he says.
Pending sales surged 10.3% in the Northeast, rose 3% in the South but gained just 0.7% in the Midwest and 0.4% in the West.
A shortage of inventory and healthy demand is pushing up housing prices.
Tuesday, Standard & Poor’s said that its S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller national home price index climbed 6.2% in January from a year earlier on top of a 6.3% annual gain in December.
Wednesday, the major US stock market indexes finished flat to Unchanged at: DJIA -9.29 at 23848.42, NAS Comp -59.58 at 6949.23, S&P 500 -7.62at 2605.00
Volume: Trade on the NYSE came in at 929-M/shares exchanged
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