U.S. pending home sales jump more than expected in June
The NAR's monthly index rose 1.5% to 110.2 from an upwardly-revised 108.6 in May. Economists had been expecting a 1% increase.
The NAR's chief economist, Lawrence Yun, said: "The first half of 2017 ended with a nearly identical number of contract signings as one year ago, even as the economy added 2.2 million net new jobs.
"Market conditions in many areas continue to be fast paced, with few properties to choose from, which is forcing buyers to act almost immediately on an available home that fits their criteria."
The pending home sales index in the Northeast edged up 0.7% to 98.0 last month and is now 2.9% higher than a year ago. In the Midwest, the index fell 0.5% to 104.0 and is now down 3.4% from June last year.
Pending home sales in the South were up 2.1% to 126.0 in June and are now 2.6% above the same month last year, while the index in the West grew 2.9% to 101.5, but is still 1.1% lower than last year. ■