Pending home sales, a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings, had increased for three straight months before hitting the wall in May. Contract signings were lower in all four major regions of the country, NAR said. "With demand holding firm this spring and homes selling even faster than a year ago, the notable increase in closings in recent months took a dent out of what was available for sale in May and ultimately dragged down contract activity," said NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun. Britain's shock decision last week to leave the European Union could alter the outlook for the US housing market in the second half of the year.
Turkey pointed the finger of blame at Islamic State jihadists Wednesday after suicide bombers armed with automatic rifles attacked Istanbul's main international airport, killing 41 people, including foreigners. Witnesses described scenes of terror and panic on Tuesday evening as the attackers began shooting indiscriminately and then blew themselves up at the entrance to Ataturk airport, one of Europe's busiest hubs. The assault, which comes at the start of Turkey's crucial tourist season, was the latest in a wave of attacks in Istanbul and the capital Ankara blamed either on Islamic State (IS) jihadists or Kurdish rebels.