US existing home sales fall for 8th month in a row

Existing home sales in the United States fell in September for the eighth consecutive month, matching the pre-pandemic sales pace of 10 years ago, after the market was hit by sharply higher mortgage rates, rising prices and a Relatively low supply of properties.

The National Association of Realtors reported Thursday that sales of existing homes and apartments fell 1.5% last month from August to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.71 million. That number is slightly higher than economists expected, according to the firm FactSet.

Sales fell 23.8% from September last year and are now at the slowest annual pace since September 2012, if you exclude the sharp sales slowdown that occurred in May 2020 near the start of the pandemic.

The national median home price rose 8.4% in September from a year earlier, to $384,800.

The housing market has slowed this year due to rising mortgage rates. The average rate on a 30-year home loan rose this week to 6.94%, the highest rate since April 2002, according to mortgage servicer Freddie Mac. A year earlier, the rate averaged 3.09%.

Higher mortgage rates reduce buyers’ purchasing power, resulting in fewer people being able to afford to buy a home. A buyer who got a 3% rate on a 30-year mortgage to buy a $300,000 home last year could now only borrow $190,000 for the same monthly payment.

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