Fewer homes, fewer contracts: pending home sales dip again in July

There’s not enough supply to meet buyer demand, NAR chief economist says

National /
Aug.August 30, 2021 12:00 PM
The number of homes under contract fell 1.8 percent in July, the second straight month of declines as eager buyers await more supply. (iStock)
The number of homes under contract fell 1.8 percent in July, the second straight month of declines as eager buyers await more supply. (iStock)

The U.S. housing market still lacks inventory, leaving prospective buyers on the outside looking in despite their best efforts to snatch up homes.

New contract signings fell in July for the second straight month, according to the latest report from the National Association of Realtors.

The NAR’s Pending Home Sales Index, which looks at contracts signed for single family homes, condos and co-ops, fell 1.8 percent month-over-month and 8.5 percent from last July, according to the report. The West was the only region that saw an uptick in contracts compared to June.

The reason for the drop is that there simply aren’t enough homes to meet demand from would-be buyers, NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun said.

“That said, inventory is slowly increasing and home shoppers should begin to see more options in the coming months,” Yun added.

The Northeast saw the largest declines, both monthly and annually. The number of homes under contract in the region fell 16.9 percent from last year and 6.6 percent from June.

In the Midwest, pending home sales fell 8.5 percent annually and 3.3 percent monthly, while the South saw transactions fall 6.7 percent annually and 0.9 percent monthly. Transactions in the West fell 5.7 percent from last year, but rose 1.9 percent over June.

Even though multiple offers and double-digit bids have dissipated in most regions, it hasn’t stopped potential buyers from waiving appraisals and inspections to speed up the homebuying process, according to the report. In July, 27 percent of buyers opted to bypass such steps.






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