Economists tie the downturn in the housing market with continued low performance in job creation and high unemployment figures.
"Reflecting on the housing figures, the National Association of Realtors' chief economist, Lawrence Yun, said in a statement that job creation was one of the critical elements that would determine whether the housing market could grow without federal stimulus.
The association said its index, which tracks pending home sales, fell in May, after the government tax credit for home buyers expired. The index for contracts signed in May fell by 30 percent, to 77.6, down from 110.9 in April. The index is down nearly 16 percent from where it stood in May 2009, the association said."