Gold Unfazed By 2.2% Decline In Dec. Pending U.S. Home Sales
(Kitco News) - Gold prices did not move much – remaining marginally softer -- after the National Association of Realtors reported Wednesday showed that fewer U.S. consumers started the process of buying a new home last month.
The association said that its Pending Home Sales Index declined 2.2% in December to a reading of 99.0. Consensus expectations had been for a 0.3% gain.
As of 10:10 a.m. EST, spot gold was trading down by $1.30 for the day to $1,310 an ounce. One minute ahead of the report, the metal was at $1,310.40.
The index for pending home sales was down 9.8% from December of 2017 for the 12th straight month of year-on-year decreases.
“The stock-market correction hurt consumer confidence, record-high home prices cut into affordability, and mortgage rates were higher in October and November for consumers signing contracts in December,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, when listing factors for the decline.
The U.S. government shutdown has not caused any series damage to home sales so far, the economist said.
“Seventy-five percent of Realtors® reported that they haven’t yet felt the impact of the government closure. However, if another government shutdown takes place, it will lead to fewer homes sold,” he said.
The report measures homes in which contracts have been signed but transactions have not officially closed. This considered a harbinger of the NAR’s monthly report on existing home sales.