U.S. existing home sales slipped four-tenths of a point in May, as the prolonged shortage of properties on the market is deterring home-buying.
The National Association of Realtors says homes sold at a seasonally adjusted annual pace of 5.43 million in May, the second straight monthly decline.
The number of sales listings has dropped six percent over the past year, forcing would-be buyers to act quickly and sign contracts on average in just 26 days.
Because of declining inventories, sales of homes worth less than $250,000 have declined over the past year. But in a sign of greater income inequality, sales of homes worth more than $1 million have surged 14.4 percent this year.