Pending home sales increased 3.6% to a reading of 94.6 in June from an upwardly revised 91.3 in May, originally reported as 90.7, according to an index released yesterday by the National Association of Realtors.

The five consecutive months of increases in pending home sales marks the first time in six years that such a streak occurred, NAR said in a release.

Thomson Reuters’ poll of economists had predicted a 91.2 reading.

Year-over-year the pending homes sales index was up 6.7% from last June, when it was at 88.7.

NAR’s housing affordability index fell to 159.2 in July.

Regionally, pending sales were higher. The Northeast saw a 0.4% increase to 81.2 in June, while sales rose 0.8% to 89.9 in the Midwest. In the South sales increased 7.1% to 100.7, while in the West pending sales jumped 2.9% to 100.4.

“Historically low mortgage-interest rates, affordable home prices and large selection are encouraging buyers who’ve been on the sidelines,” said NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun.

“Activity has been consistently much stronger for lower priced homes. Because it may take as long as two months to close on a home after signing a contract, first-time buyers must act fairly soon to take advantage of the $8,000 tax credit because they must close on the sale by November 30.”

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