After disappointment in new- and existing-home-sales, pending home sales in April tumbled 1.3% MoM (missing expectations of a 0.4% gain - and well below the lowest analysts estimate).
Contract signings to purchase previously owned U.S. homes unexpectedly declined in April, underscoring the housing market’s challenge centered around a persistent inventory shortage, according to data released Thursday from the National Association of Realtors in Washington.
Signings dropped in three of four regions, led by a 3.2 percent decline in the Midwest; fell 1 percent in the South and 0.4 percent in the West, while sales agreements were unchanged in the Northeast. Pending home sales index for West was lowest since June 2014.
A limited number of for-sale properties is keeping prices elevated at a time when mortgage rates have climbed to an almost seven-year high.
“The unfortunate reality for many home shoppers is that reaching the market will remain challenging if supply stays at these dire levels,” Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, said in a statement.
At the same time, “demand for buying a home is very robust,” Yun said. “Listings are typically going under contract in under a month, and instances of multiple offers are increasingly common and pushing prices higher.”
As a reminder, economists consider pending sales a leading indicator because they track contract signings. Purchases of existing homes are tabulated when a deal closes, typically a month or two later
And housing does not look like it's going to get a bounce anytime soon...