Pending U.S. Home Sales Fall to an All-Time Low in May –MarketWatch


Pending home sales fell in May to an all-time low, as U.S. home buyers grappled with elevated mortgage rates and rising home prices.

Pending home sales fell 2.1% in May from the previous month, according to the monthly index released Thursday by the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR).

Contract signings fell to a record low, the NAR said, since it began tracking sales data since 2001. Sales also fell for the second month in a row.

Transactions were down 6.6% from a year ago.

The NAR also laid out its forecast for the housing market in the months ahead. It expects the 30-year mortgage rate to remain over 6% this year, as well as in 2025, despite a potential rate cut by the Federal Reserve.

It also expects existing-home sales to be 4.26 million in 2024 and 4.92 million in 2025.

And home prices are expected to continue to climb, NAR said. It expects the median existing-home price to rise to an annual high of $405,300 in 2024 and to $412,000 in 2025.

“The first half of the year did not meet expectations regarding home sales but exceeded expectations related to home prices,” Lawrence Yun, chief economist at the NAR, said in a statement.

“In the second half of 2024, look for moderately lower mortgage rates, higher home sales and stabilizing home prices,” he added.

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