Pending home sales fall 1.8 percent to slowest pace since January

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Pending home sales fall 1.8 percent to slowest pace since January

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Despite still-low supply of homes for sale, a record high number of Americans believe now is a good time to sell, according to a recent survey by the Realtors. Nearly 77 percent of homeowners surveyed indicated now is a good time to sell, compared with 55 percent a few years ago.

“With prices having risen so quickly, many consumers were deciding to wait to list their homes hoping to see additional price and equity gains,” Yun said. “However, with indications that buyers are beginning to pull out, price gains are going to decelerate and potential sellers are considering that now is a good time to list and bring more properties to the market.”

Sales of newly built homes rose 3.5 percent in August month over month, according to the U.S. Census, which tracks signed contracts. Sales are still, however, well below the historical norms for new construction. Prices for new homes are at near-record levels, as builders contend with higher costs for land, labor and especially materials, thanks to new tariffs on building products. The supply of new homes for sale is far higher, but demand is lower, due to affordability issues.

Mortgage rates rose in August as well and are now nearly a full percentage point higher than they were one year ago. Job creation, however, is stronger as is wage growth, which is pushing more demand for housing. The Realtors expect total sales this year to be 1. 6 percent lower than sales in 2017.

Correction: So-called pending home sales fell 1.8 percent for the month, according to the National Association of Realtors’ seasonally adjusted index. An earlier version misstated the percentage.

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