In a bear-out of the country’s dire inventory shortage, pending home sales are struggling, in April dropping 1.3 percent, according to the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI). In April, three of the major regions in the U.S. experienced lower sales, falling 3.2 percent in the Midwest, 1 percent in the South, and 0.4 percent in the West. There were no gains in the Northeast.
“Pending sales slipped in April and continued to stay within the same narrow range with little signs of breaking out,” says Lawrence Yun, chief economist at NAR. “Feedback from REALTORS®, as well as the underlying sales data, reveal that the demand for buying a home is very robust. Listings are typically going under contract in under a month, and instances of multiple offers are increasingly common and pushing prices higher. The unfortunate reality for many home shoppers is that reaching the market will remain challenging if supply stays at these dire levels.”
According to Yun, climbing costs for consumers can be problematic, as well.
“The combination of paying extra at the pump, while also needing to save more for a down payment because of higher rates and home prices, may weigh on the psyche of those looking to buy,” Yun says. “For now, the economy is very healthy, job growth is holding steady and wages are slowly rising; however, it all comes down to overall supply. If more new and existing homes are listed for sale, it would allow home prices to moderate enough to stave off inflationary pressures and higher rates.”
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