The National Association of Realtors® (NAR) said that pending home sales declined nationally in March due to a lack of housing inventory.
The NAR Pending Home Sales Index saw a 0.8% decrease to 111.4 in March from 112.3 the previous month. Despite last month’s decrease, the index is 0.8% above a year ago.
The South was the only area that saw a slight rise in contract signings last month with an increase of 1.2% to an index of 129.4 in March and are now 3.9% above last March. The index in the West fell 2.9% in March to 94.5, and is now 2.7% below a year ago, according to the NAR.
NAR chief economist, Lawrence Yun issued this statement with the report;
“Home shoppers are coming out in droves this spring and competing with each other for the meager amount of listings in the affordable price range,” he said.
“In most areas, the lower the price of a home for sale, the more competition there is for it. That’s the reason why first-time buyers have yet to make up a larger share of the market this year, despite there being more sales overall.”
“Sellers are in the driver’s seat this spring as the intense competition for the few homes for sale is forcing many buyers to be aggressive in their offers,” said Yun.
“Buyers are showing resiliency given the challenging conditions. However, at some point — and the sooner the better — price growth must ease to a healthier rate. Otherwise sales could slow if affordability conditions worsen.”