US pending homes sales stumbled in July for the fourth time in five months

Pending homes sales stumbled in July for the fourth time in five months as only the West saw an increase in contract activity, according to the National Association of Realtors.

The Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings, decreased 0.8 percent to 109.1 in July from a downwardly revised 110.0 in June. After last month’s decline, the index is now 1.3 percent below a year ago and has fallen on an annual basis in three of the past four months.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says the staggering inventory woes throughout the country continue to stall contract activity. “With the exception of a minimal gain in the West, pending sales were weaker in most areas in July as house hunters saw limited options for sale and highly competitive market conditions,” he said. “The housing market remains stuck in a holding pattern with little signs of breaking through. The pace of new listings is not catching up with what’s being sold at an astonishingly fast pace.”

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