Real estate agents in recent months have had fewer clients getting off the fence and signing on the line. What started as an anomaly now is becoming a trend as home sales have lost steam.
And there is some concern among agents that they are not expected to improve anytime soon, according to a CNBC report.
According to the National Association of Realtors monthly index measuring signed contracts to buy existing homes fell 2.6 percent in August compared to July. That is the fifth drop in the past six months and below expectations. Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the Realtors, cited a shrinking number of listings and rising prices.
“August was another month of declining contract activity because of the one-two punch of limited listings and home prices rising far above incomes. Demand continues to overwhelm supply in most of the country, and as a result, many would-be buyers from earlier in the year are still in the market for a home, while others have perhaps decided to temporarily postpone their search.”
Yun contends that the housing market likely is stalled, which has led him to lower his forecast for full-year existing home sales to 5.44 million, which is 0.2 percent below 2016’s pace. The original prediction last January for 2017 was 5.57 million, an increase of 2.2 percent compared to 2016.
Regionally, pending home sales in the Northeast fell 4.4 percent for the month and were 4.1 percent below a year ago. In the Midwest the index decreased 1.5 percent for the month and was 3.2 percent lower than August 2016.
In the South, pending home sales fell 3.5 percent for the month and were 1.7 percent below last August. In the West sales declined 1.0 percent monthly and 2.4 percent annually.