U.S. sales of existing homes recently fell to a 13-year low, dropping 2.0%
month-over-month and 15.4% year-over-year as of last measure, according
to the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), as surging interest rates
and elevated sales prices continue to make homeownership unaffordable
for many prospective buyers. Purchase activity is down significantly
compared to this time last year, but rising interest rates are also keeping
many current homeowners from selling, causing inventory to remain at
historically low levels nationwide.
National sales of existing homes recently fell to a 7-month low, as surging
borrowing costs, rising sales prices, and limited inventory continue to keep
many would-be buyers out of the market. Borrowers have become
increasingly sensitive to fluctuations in mortgage rates, which have
remained above 7% since mid-August. With fewer buyers able to afford the
costs of homeownership, existing-home sales declined 0.7% month-overmonth and were down 15.3% year-over-year, according to the National
Association of REALTORS®(NAR).
Higher mortgage rates, along with elevated sales prices and a lack of
housing inventory, have continued to impact market activity during the
summer homebuying season. The average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage has
remained above 6.5% since May, recently hitting a two-decade high in
August, according to Freddie Mac. As a result, existing-home sales have
continued to slow nationwide, dropping 2.2% month-over-month as of last
measure, with sales down 16.6% compared to the same time last year,
according to the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR).