Sales of previously owned U.S. homes probably fell in May, showing an uneven recovery in residential real estate, economists said a report may show today.
Purchases dropped 1.1 percent to a 4.57 million annual rate last month, according to the median forecast of 74 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News. Jobless claims last week were little changed, other data may show.
The weakest employment gain in a year last month along with limited access to credit are restraints on an industry that’s been supported by record-low borrowing costs and a drop home values.
The figures underscore Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke’s comments that the economy is failing to get a boost from a more typical real-estate recovery.
“The housing market is recovering very slowly,” said Yelena Shulyatyeva, U.S. economist at BNP Paribas in New York. “I do see a pickup in demand throughout the year but it’s going to be very gradual. What we need to see probably is continued low mortgage rates. That will gradually continue to improve housing demand.”
The report from the National Association of Realtors is due at 10 a.m. in Washington. Bloomberg survey estimates ranged from 4.4 million to 4.73 million.