Weekly Market Update 9/23/2022
Sales of previously occupied U.S. homes slowed in August for the seventh month in a row, as sharply higher mortgage rates and rising prices made homebuying less affordable, further cooling the once red-hot housing market.
The National Association of Realtors said Wednesday that existing home sales fell 0.4% last month from July to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.80 million. That’s higher than what economists were expecting, according to FactSet.
Sales fell 19.9% from August last year, and are now at the slowest annual pace since May 2020, near the start of the pandemic. The national median home price jumped 7.7% in August from a year earlier to $389,500.
As the housing market has cooled, home prices have been rising at a more moderate pace after surging annually by around 20% earlier this year. Before the pandemic, the median home price was rising about 5% a year.
“The rising mortgage rate has clearly hampered the housing market,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist.