Pending Home Sales in May rose 5.9% m/o/m, well above expectations of a gain of 1.5% and follows a decline of 5.5% in April. The index is back to matching its highest since April ’10 with all 4 regions higher vs April led by a 14.5% gain in the West. Similar to the press release in the NAR’s release of Existing Home Sales last week, they cited low inventories in certain markets and said this can be in part due to “underwater homeowners who are unwilling to list their homes, which would require a lengthy short sale process, or additional cash to complete the transaction…Low inventory can be cured by increasing new home construction.” I say low inventory can also be dealt with by facilitating the foreclosure process which would further cleanse the market and better put people in housing situations they can afford. Bottom line, today’s figure is the last of the May housing data seen over the past week and signs still point to an industry trying to keep its head above water after a miserable 5 yrs. Getting out of the water though will still take a lot of patience and time.
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