New numbers from the National Association of Realtors show sales of existing homes were basically flat in June and are now 2.2 percent lower than they were at the same time last year. And yet, buyer demand has been high all year. So why aren’t more homes selling? Well, according to Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, it’s because there are too few homes for sale. “The root cause is without a doubt the severe housing shortage that is not releasing its grip on the nation’s housing market,” Yun says. “What is for sale in most areas is going under contract very fast and, in many cases, has multiple offers.” In short, if there were more homes for sale, sales numbers would likely be up and prices would be coming down. That’s why it’s encouraging that the total number of homes for sale was up 4.3 percent last month and is now just slightly higher than at the same time last year. But, despite rising inventory, there still aren’t enough homes to match current buyer demand in many markets.