US Pending Home Sales Fell for 2nd Month Running
$DIA, $SPY, $QQQ, $VXX
Contracts to buy previously owned US homes fell for a 2nd month running in April one a supply squeeze, but the housing market recovery remains supported by a strong labor market.
The National Association of Realtors(NAR) said Wednesday its Pending Home Sales Index, based on contracts signed last month, dropped 1.3% to 109.8.
Economists had forecast pending home sales rising 0.5% last month. Pending home sales fell 3.3% from a year ago. That is the 1st Y-Y drop since last December and the largest since June 2014.
“Much of the country for the second straight month saw a pullback in pending sales as the rate of new listings continues to lag the quicker pace of homes coming off the market,” said NAR’s chief economist. “Realtors are indicating that foot traffic is higher than a year ago.”
Pending home contracts become sales after a month or two, and last month’s fall suggested a further decline in home resales after they dropped 2.3% in April.
Demand for housing is being driven by a tight labor market, marked by a 4.4% unemployment rate, which is generating wage increases and boosting employment opportunities for young Americans.
Sales activity, however, remains constrained by tight inventories, which are driving up home prices. Housing inventory has dropped for 23 straight months on a Y-Y basis.
Pending home sales fell in the Northeast, Midwest and South last month, but surged 5.8% in the West.
Wednesday, the US major stock market indexes finished at: DJIA -20.82 at 21008.65, NAS Comp -4.67 at 6198.50, S&P 500 -1.11 at 2411.80
Volume: Month end trade on the NYSE was heavy with 1.5-B/shares exchanging hands.
- NAS Comp +15.2% YTD
- S&P 500 +7.7% YTD
- DJIA +6.3% YTD
- Russell 2000 +1.0% YTD
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