Today, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) released its pending home sales report for June showing that pending home sales declined, with the seasonally adjusted national index falling 0.4% from May. However, it increased 10.9% above the level seen in June 2012. Meanwhile, NARs Chief Economist Lawrence Yun suggested that the recent run-up in interest rates worked to depress the latest read of contract activity:
Mortgage interest rates began to rise in May, taking some of the momentum out of contract activity in June. ... The persistent lack of inventory also is contributing to lower contract signings.
The following chart shows the seasonally adjusted national pending home sales index along with the percent change on a year-over-year basis, as well as the percent change from the peak set in 2005.