Gold Futures Remains Under Pressure Following 2.3% Drop In Existing Home Sales
(Kitco News) - Gold prices remain under pressure, seeing little movement after the National Association of Realtors’ (NAR) latest report showed slowing momentum in the U.S. housing sector.
Wednesday, the association said that existing home sales fell 2.3% last month to a seasonally adjusted and annualized rate of 5.57 million units, compared to March’s revised annualized rate of 5.7 million homes. Economists were expecting to see a small decline to 5.65 million units.
"Last month's dip in closings was somewhat expected given that there was such a strong sales increase in March at 4.2 percent, and new and existing inventory is not keeping up with the fast pace homes are coming off the market," said Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist. "Demand is easily outstripping supply in most of the country and it's stymieing many prospective buyers from finding a home to purchase."
Despite the larger-than-expected month-over-month decline, the association noted that existing home sales are still up 1.6% compared to the sales rate in April 2016.
Gold prices were under pressure ahead of the report and have remained relatively unchanged in initial reaction. June Comex gold futures last traded at $1,253 an ounce, down 0.20%.
The existing home sales data come a day after the U.S. Commerce Department said that new home sales in April declined 11.4%.
Looking at home prices, the association said he median existing-home price for all housing types in April was $244,800, up 6.0% from April 2016.
Total inventory of existing homes as of the end of April was 1.93 million units, representing a 4.2-month supply at the current sales pace, which is down from 4.6 months a year ago.