U.S. pending home sales rise less than expected in March
The NAR's monthly index edged up 0.4% last month to 107.6 from a downwardly-revised 107.2 in February, missing expectations for a 0.9% increase.
The NAR's chief economist, Lawrence Yun, said: "Healthy economic conditions are creating considerable demand for purchasing a home, but not all buyers are able to sign contracts because of the lack of choices in inventory.
"Steady price growth and the swift pace listings are coming off the market are proof that more supply is needed to fully satisfy demand1. What continues to hold back sales is the fact that prospective buyers are increasingly having difficulty finding an affordable home to buy."
The pending home sales index in the Northeast fell 5.6% to 90.6 in March, while in the Midwest, the index was 2.4% higher at 101.3. Pending home sales in the South rose 2.5% to 128.6 in March, while the index for the West was down 1.1% to 94.7.
Yun expects existing home sales for this year to be around 5.61m, up from 5.51m in 2017, while the national median existing home price is expected to rise by around 4.4%. ■