The National Association of Realtors’ (NAR) data for existing-home sales and pending home sales in July painted a picture of stagnant housing markets throughout the country due to persistently tight inventory levels. Overall, national existing-home sales slumped by 3.2% compared to June while national pending home sales slightly increased by 1.3% on a month-over-month basis. Similarly, the regions tracked by the NAR reflected declines in existing-home sales and little change up or down in pending home sales activity except in the West.
Existing-home sales in the West grew by 2.5% in July compared to June. Pending home sales also saw a 7.3% gain over the previous month and a 6.3% increase over July 2015. NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun stated, “The [pending home sales] index in the West last month was the highest in over three years largely because of stronger labor market conditions. If homebuilding increases in the region to tame price growth and alleviate the ongoing affordability concerns, the healthy rate of job gains should support more sales.”