Low interest rates, an improving job market, and an increase in the number of new and existing homes for sale fueled a 3.3% increase in the number of homes under contract to sell in July, data from the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® show.
“Steady job additions to the economy are helping family finances and giving consumers added confidence to enter the market,” said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. “The increase in the number of new and existing homes for sale is creating less competition and is giving prospective buyers more time to review their options before submitting an offer.”
All major regions experienced healthy gains except for the Midwest, which saw a slight decline.
Pending Home Sales by Region
|July 2014||Compared with July 2013|
|National||Up 3.3%||Down 2.1%|
|Northeast||Up 6.2%||Up 8.3%|
|Midwest||Down 0.4%||Down 6.4%|
|South||Up 4.2%||Down 1.0%|
|West||Up 4.0%||Down 6.0%|
In 2014, Yun predicts 4.98 million existing-homes will sell, down 2.1% compared with the 5.09 million homes sold in 2013.
He expects the national median existing-home price to grow between 5% and 6% this year and grow 4% to 5% in 2015.
In July, the national median existing-home price was $222,900 for all home types (up 4.9% from July 2013) and $215,000 for condos (up 3.3% from this time last year).