June Pending Home Sales Down 2.6%


The tiny peak heralds a drop, IMO. Image: Favstocks

June’s pending home sales are down 2.6%, hitting an index record low of 75.7, according to the National Association of Realtors. CNBC has more:

The Realtors said its Pending Home Sales Index, based on contracts signed in June, fell to a record low 75.7 from a revised 77.7 in May. Economists polled by Reuters had expected a rise of 0.6 percent.

The June decline followed a 30 percent drop in May after a popular tax credit expired at the end of April. The index was 18.6 percent lower than in June 2009 and fell in three of four regions compared to the prior month.

Contracts rose 3.7 percent in the South, the country’s largest region, but dropped by 0.2 percent in the West, by 12.2 percent in the Northeast and by 9.5 percent in the Midwest.

So much for expectations of recovery after last month’s -29.9%, post-tax-credit blow. But don’t worry, the government has everything under control. Tim Geithner wrote in a New York Times op-ed today that (via Ritholtz.com):

• Private job growth has returned — not as fast as we would like, but at an earlier stage of this recovery than in the last two recoveries. Manufacturing has generated 136,000 new jobs in the past six months.

• American families are saving more, paying down their debt and borrowing more responsibly. This has been a necessary adjustment because the borrow-and-spend path we were on wasn’t sustainable.

This says nothing about anyone’s interest in buying more homes, of course, but I’m sure Geithner et al. would like us to extrapolate hope from the feel-good propaganda above.