Pending home sales take slight dip in June

Local data follow trend as mortgage rates rise


WASHINGTON — The number of Americans who signed contracts to buy homes dipped in June from a six-year high in May, a sign that sales could stabilize over the next few months.

The National Association of Realtors said Monday that its seasonally adjusted index for pending home sales ticked down 0.4 percent to 110.9 in June. The May reading was revised lower to 111.3, but it was still the highest since December, 2006.

The slight drop suggests higher mortgage rates may be slowing sales. Still, signed contracts are 10.9 percent higher than they were a year ago. Generally, a one to two-month lag occurs between a signed contract and a finalized sale.

In Ohio, the pending-home sales index was 137.9 in June, down 5.3 percent from May but up 13.4 percent from June, 2012.

Northwest Ohio followed, with the number of pending sales falling 6.3 percent from May to June.

According to data supplied by the Toledo Board of Realtors, there were 780 pending sales in May and 731 in June. But June’s pending sales were 15 percent higher than in June, 2012.

Economists said that the modest decline shows higher mortgage rates are having only a small impact on the market.

“All told, ... pending home sales held up fantastically well,” Dan Greenhaus, chief global strategist at BTIG, an institutional brokerage, said in a note to clients.

The average rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage has risen a full percentage point since early May and reached a two-year high of 4.51 percent in late June.