Existing-home sales declined 5.4 percent on a seasonally adjusted annual basis to 4.37 million from an upwardly-revised 4.62 million in May.  Economists surveyed by Reuters expected a gain of +1.1 percent.  According to the National Association of Realtors® (NAR), lower sales of existing homes in June were not the result of lagging demand but rather of an insufficient supply.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said the bigger story is lower inventory and the recovery in home prices.  “Despite the frictions related to obtaining mortgages, buyer interest remains solid.  But inventory continues to shrink and that is limiting buying opportunities.  This, in turn, is pushing up home prices in many markets,” he said.  “The price improvement also results from fewer distressed homes in the sales mix.”