US Pending Home Sales Gauge Slumps in April to Four-Year Low –Bloomberg News

Bloomberg News

A gauge of pending U.S. existing-home sales tumbled to a four-year low in April as higher mortgage rates cast a pall on the spring selling season.

An index of contract signings from the National Association of REALTORS® dropped 7.7% to 72.3, the lowest reading since the early months of the pandemic. The monthly decline was steeper than all estimates in a Bloomberg survey of economists and the worst since February 2021. All US regions saw decreases from a month earlier.

“The impact of escalating interest rates throughout April dampened home buying, even with more inventory in the market,” NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said in a statement. “But the Federal Reserve’s anticipated rate cut later this year should lead to better conditions, with improved affordability and more supply.”

“The prospect of measurable home price declines appears minimal,” Yun said. “The few markets experiencing price declines will be viewed as second-chance opportunities for buyers to enter the market if those regions continue to add jobs.”

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