Nationally, existing home sales recently dropped to a six-month low, falling 7.2% as buyers struggled to find a home amid rising prices and historic low inventory. Pending sales are also down, declining 4.1% as of last measure, according to the National Association of REALTORS®. Builders are working hard to ramp up production—the U.S. Census Bureau reports housing starts are up 22.3% compared to a year ago—but higher construction costs and increasing sales prices continue to hamper new home sales, despite high demand for additional supply.
In St. Louis, new listings decreased 3.9 percent for residential homes and 7.2 percent for townhouse/condo homes. Pending sales decreased 8.1 percent for residential homes and 6.6 percent for townhouse/condo homes. Inventory decreased 18.7 percent for residential homes and 40.6 percent for townhouse/condo homes.
Median sales price increased two percent to $250,000 for residential homes and 12.4 percent to $200,000 for townhouse/condo homes. Days on market decreased 17.6 percent for residential homes and 22.7 percent for townhouse/condo homes. Months supply of inventory decreased 16.7 percent for residential homes and 43.8 percent for townhouse/condo homes.
Across the country, consumers are feeling the bite of inflation and surging mortgage interest rates, which recently hit 4.6% in March, according to Freddie Mac, rising 1.4 percent since January and the highest rate in more than three years. Monthly payments have increased significantly compared to this time last year, and as housing affordability declines, an increasing number of would-be homebuyers are turning to the rental market, only to face similar challenges as rental prices skyrocket and vacancy rates remain at near-record low.