WASHINGTON (7/30/13)--Fewer Americans signed contracts to buy existing homes in June, an indication that the rising prices in the mortgage market are beginning to affect the housing market, according to the National Association of Realtors (Bloomberg.com. and Moody's Economy.com July 29).
The Pending Home Sales Index declined 0.4% to 110.9, seasonally adjusted, in June after climbing in May to the index's highest level since December 2006. The median forecast of 40 economists surveyed by Bloomberg was for a 1% decline. However, the index is still up 10.9% from its level in June 2012, with the housing recovery is still on track, said Bloomberg.
The South recorded the largest decline, falling 2.1% from May, and the Midwest declined 1%. The Northeast recorded no change from the previous month, and the West was the only region to mark increasing sales, which were up 3.3% from May, said Moody's.
Moody's noted that an improving employment market, strong investor demand and increasing confidence among homebuyers will "outweigh the negative impact of higher interest rates in coming quarters."