Pending home sales increased 0.9% in July compared with June but were down 14% compared with July 2022, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR).
Regionally, and month over month, the Northeast and Midwest posted monthly losses, while contract signings in the South and West grew.
Year over year, all four U.S. regions saw year-over-year declines.
“The small gain in contract signings shows the potential for further increases in light of the fact that many people have lost out on multiple home buying offers,” says Lawrence Yun, chief economist for NAR, in a statement. “Jobs are being added and, thereby, enlarging the pool of prospective home buyers. However, rising mortgage rates and limited inventory have temporarily hindered the possibility of buying for many.
“Interestingly, the West region experienced a meaningful price decline in the past year and buyers are quickly returning as a result,” Yun adds.
“Home sales are likely to remain close to the annualized rate of 4 million into the fall,” says Mark Fleming, chief economist for First American, in a statement. “The last time the housing market fell below the annualized rate of 4 million home sales was in the depths of the Great Financial Crisis, between July and October 2010.”
“According to our analysis, we were in housing recession between May and November last year, briefly came out of recession between December and April of this year, but have since dipped back in to housing recession this summer as rates have increased and sales volume dipped lower again,” Fleming says.
Last week, NAR reported that existing-home sales dropped for a third straight month in July, falling 2.2% compared with June and 16.6% compared with July 2022 to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.07 million.
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