Home buyers signed fewer contracts to buy existing homes in June, despite renewed optimism in the overall housing recovery.
The pending home sales index from the National Association of Realtors fell 1.4 percent from May. It is up 9.5% from June of 2011.
Signed contracts are a forward-looking indicator for existing home sales, but given mortgage and appraisal issues plaguing today's housing market, final sales have not tracked the pending index as closely as they have historically.
“Buyer interest remains strong but fewer home listings mean fewer contract signing opportunities,” said the NAR's chief economist Lawrence Yun. “We’ve been seeing a steady decline in the level of housing inventory, which is most pronounced in the lower price ranges popular with first-time buyers and investors.”