Markets & Economy

Pending home sales surge on growing inventory, lower mortgage rates

NAR: First-time homebuyers still constrained by tight credit and declining affordability

Don't miss the real estate event of the summer
Join 4,000 real estate pros at Connect SF, Aug 7‑11, 2017

The number of homes that went under contract in May leaped from the previous month as lower mortgage rates and growing home inventory stimulated buyer activity, according to a report from the National Association of Realtors. Pending home sales -- an indicator based on contract signings that anticipates home sales -- jumped 6.1 percent month over month in May, but were down 5.2 percent from the same time last year. “Sales should exceed an annual pace of 5 million homes in some of the upcoming months behind favorable mortgage rates, more inventory and improved job creation,” said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun in a statement. “However, second-half sales growth won’t be enough to compensate for the sluggish first quarter and will likely fall below last year’s total.” All four regions of the country posted increases in pending sales, with the Northeast and West showing the largest gains, according to NAR. The jump in pending sales provides the latest evidence ...