In this Wednesday, June 20, 2018, photo, an "Under Contract" sign is displayed in front of home for sale in Raymond, N.H. On Wednesday, June 27, the National Association of Realtors releases its May report on pending home sales. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

US pending home sales fell 0.5 percent in May

June 27, 2018 - 10:05 am

WASHINGTON (AP) — Fewer Americans signed contracts to purchase homes in May, as sales are being stifled by a shortage of properties on the market.

The National Association of Realtors said Wednesday that its pending home sales index slipped 0.5 percent last month to 105.9, the second straight monthly decline. On a yearly basis, pending home sales have fallen 2.2 percent.

Would-be buyers are increasingly frustrated by a lack of homes listed for sale. The number of homes on the market has dropped 6.1 percent over the past year to 1.85 million. The worsening shortage has prevented home-buying even as a strong job market has buoyed demand.

May's decline came entirely from a drop-off in the South, while purchases increased on a seasonally adjusted basis in the Northeast, Midwest and West.

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