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NAR urges lenders to release REOs

Lack of inventory blamed for decline in pending home sales
Published on Jul 26, 2012

The National Association of Realtors today urged lenders to release any bank-owned properties that have been held back in markets with inventory shortages, blaming the tight supply of homes as a factor in a 1.4 percent decline in pending home sales from May to June.Although NAR's Pending Home Sales Index slipped to 99.3 in June, that's up 9.5 percent from the 90.7 reading recorded a year ago, marking 14 consecutive months of year-over-year gains. An index of 100 is equal to the average level of contract activity during 2001, a "historically healthy" year for housing sales.NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said buyer interest "remains strong, but fewer home listings mean fewer contract signing opportunities. We've been seeing a steady decline in the level of housing inventory, which is most pronounced in the lower price ranges popular with first-time buyers and investors."Yun thinks housing starts will likely need to double over the next two years to satisfy the pent-...

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