Nov 21, 2023
2 mins read
2 mins read

Home Sales at Slowest Pace in More Than 13 Years, as Prices, Borrowing Cost Soar

Home Sales at Slowest Pace in More Than 13 Years, as Prices, Borrowing Cost Soar

LOS ANGELES (NEWSnet/AP) — Sales of previously occupied U.S. homes slumped in October to their slowest pace in more than 13 years.

Surging mortgage rates and rising prices kept many prospective homebuyers on the sidelines.

Existing home sales fell 4.1% last month from September to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 3.79 million, National Association of Realtors said Tuesday. That’s weaker than the 3.90 million sales pace economists were expecting, according to FactSet.

Sales haven’t slumped to this degree since August 2010, when the housing market was in recovery from a severe crash.

Despite the decline in sales, home prices continue to climb. National median sales price rose 3.4% from October 2022, to $391,800.

“Lack of inventory along with higher mortgage rates are really hindering home sales,” said Lawrence Yun, the NAR’s chief economist.

The weekly average rate on a 30-year mortgage hovered above 7% in September, when many of the home sales that were finalized in October would have gone under contract. It has remained above that threshold since, surging in late October to 7.79%, the highest average on records going back to late 2000, according to mortgage buyer Freddie Mac. Last week, the rate averaged 7.44%.

Sales remain weakest among the most affordably priced homes. Sales for homes priced between $100,000 and $250,000 sank 18% in October from a year earlier. However, sales jumped 9% among homes priced at $1 million or above.

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