Home sales slow again, but not for lack of buyers

WASHINGTON — Contracts signed to buy existing homes fell for the second straight month, and compared to a year ago, pending sales posted the biggest year-over-year drop in almost two years, but it’s not for lack of buyers.

The National Association of Realtors says nationwide, the number of houses and condos on the market last month was down 9 percent from a year ago. But the association says its Realtor members report foot traffic that is higher than it was last April.

Pending sales fell 1.3 percent in April compared to March, and were down 3.3 percent from April 2016.

“Prospective buyers are feeling the double whammy this spring of inventory that’s down 9 percent from a year ago and price appreciation that’s much faster than any rise they’ve likely seen in their income,” NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said.

Yun also said he believes there is little evidence these astoundingly low supply levels are going away soon.

Even so, the NAR holds to its forecast that existing home sales for all of 2017 will be up 3.5 percent from 2016, in line with last year’s year-over-year increase of 3.8 percent.

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