US pending home sales rise 0.7% in May, ending 6 months of decline
Pending sales in Northeast accelerated 15.4% in May, largest monthly gain among 4 major US regions
US pending home sales rose 0.7% in May, ending its sixth consecutive months of decline, according to data released by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) on Monday.
The index of pending home sales, one of the top indicators of the health of the housing market, was expected to show a monthly decline of 3.7% for May, while it recorded a 3.9% decrease in April.
Pending sales in the Northeast accelerated 15.4% in May, the largest monthly increase among the four major US regions, according to NAR.
"Despite the small gain in pending sales from the prior month, the housing market is clearly undergoing a transition," NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said in a statement. "Contract signings are down sizably from a year ago because of much higher mortgage rates."
Monthly mortgage payment has increased around $800 since the beginning of the year, while mortgage rates have climbed by 2.5 percentage points since January, for the median single-family homes with a 10% down payment, NAR said.
Pending home sales measure the change in the number of houses under contract to be sold, but still awaiting the closing transaction. They exclude new home construction.