National pending home sales saw a decline of 0.5% nationally for the fifth month in a row, according to the Pending Home Sales Index by the National Association of Realtors (NAR).
“Pending home sales underperformed once again in May, declining for the second straight month and coming in at the second-lowest level over the past year,” says NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun. “REALTORS® in most of the country continue to describe their markets as highly competitive and fast-moving, but without enough new and existing inventory for sale, activity has essentially stalled.
A drop of 3.5% in the south outweighed the increases of 2.9% in the Midwest, 2% in the Northeast, and 0.6% in the West.
“With the cost of buying a home getting more expensive, it’s clear the summer months will be a true test for the housing market,” Yun says. “One encouraging sign has been the increase in new-home construction to a 10-year high. Several would-be buyers this spring were kept out of the market because of supply and affordability constraints. The healthy economy and job market should keep many of them actively looking to buy, and any rise in inventory would certainly help them find a home.”