The pending home sales index fell 2.6% in June to a record low reading of 75.7 as residential housing continued to struggle due to the expiration of the federal home-purchase tax credit, the National Association of Realtors said Tuesday.
The index covers contract signings for home resales back to Jan. 1, 2001. The base reading of 100 reflects average resale activity during 2001. The May reading was revised upward to 77.7 from the originally reported 77.6. The June and May readings represent the two lowest monthly levels ever for the index, which has an average reading of 104.4.
The median estimate in a Thomson Reuters poll of economists predicted a 79.0 reading for June.
“The results for pending home sales suggest that payback for sales prompted by the tax credit could last for several months,” said Michael Moran, chief economist at Daiwa Capital Markets.