PhotoThe string is broken.

After declining for three straight months, pending home sales rose in June, with all geographic regions but the Midwest contributing.

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) reports its Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI), which is based on contract signings, was up 1.5% to 110.2.

“The first half of 2017 ended with a nearly identical number of contract signings as one year ago, even as the economy added 2.2 million net new jobs," said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. "Market conditions in many areas continue to be fast paced, with few properties to choose from, which is forcing buyers to act almost immediately on an available home that fits their criteria."

Yun points out that low supply continues to hold back activity, noting that inventory declined in June and is 7.1% lower than a year ago.

Pending sales by region

  • The PHSI in the Northeast inched up 0.7% to 98.0 and is now 2.9% above a year ago.
  • Pending home sales in the South rose 2.1% for a reading of 126.0 in June and are up 2.6% from last June.
  • The index in the West came in at 101.5, a gain of 2.9% from May but down 1.1% year-over-year.
  • The only decliner -- the Midwest -- saw the PHSI dip 0.5% to 104.0. It's now 3.4% lower than it was in June 2016.

Looking ahead

Yun expects existing-home sales to finish 2017 at around 5.56 million, which would represent an increase of 2.6% from last year's 5.45 million.

The national median existing-home price this year is projected to rise 5% in contrast to 2016's 5.1% gain.

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