Gold Prices Ignore 0.9% Rise In U.S. Pending Home Sales
(Kitco News) - Gold prices are relatively unchanged on the day, seeing little movement despite some momentum in the housing sector as more consumers commit to buying homes in June, according to the latest data from the National Association of Realtors (NAR).
Monday, the association said that its pending home sales index rose 0.9% in June to a reading of 106.9, compared to May’s drop of 0.5%. The numbers were better than expected as economists were calling for an increase of 0.4%.
Despite the monthly increase, the index was down 2.5% compared to June 2017.
While gold is relatively unchanged on the day, the market continues to struggle to find momentum as prices hover near their lowest levels in 12 months. Economic data is having little impact on the yellow metal, which continues to be dominated by currency markets. August gold futures last traded at $1,222.70 an ounce, down 0.02% on the day.
The positive housing sector data comes as a bit of relief for the sector as economists note that higher home prices and rising interest rates are pricing many concumers, particularly first-time home buyers, out of the marketplace.
“After two straight months of pending sales declines, home shoppers in a majority of markets had a little more success finding a home to buy last month,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist. “The positive forces of faster economic growth and steady hiring are being met by the negative forces of higher home prices and mortgage rates. Even with slightly more homeowners putting their home on the market, inventory is still subpar and not meeting demand.
Economists closely watch the pending home sales numbers because the index is seen as a barometer for the housing market. A lag of a month or two usually exists between a contract and a completed sale.