The number of existing homes under contract in May rose to its highest level in more than nine years, the National Association of Realtors reported on Monday.
Pending resales have increased every month for the past five, and have increased year-over-year for nine consecutive months, the NAR said. May’s pending home sales were up 10.4% from May 2014.
As sales of homes under contract close over the next couple of months, those numbers will translate into home sales. NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said in a statement that the positive May numbers confirm that home sales are poised for their best year since the economic downturn.
May’s robust activity in the resale market is housing’s latest contribution to the broader economic recovery. Also in May, sales of existing and new homes surpassed expectations, and home prices continued to rise.
Still, Yun pointed to the downside of brisk home sales: The activity further depletes the inventory of homes for sale, which, he said, has caused prices to rise “to an unhealthy and unsustainable pace.”