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).
New listings increased by 7.1% for residential homes but decreased by 3.8% for townhouse/condo homes. Pending sales decreased by 5.9% for residential homes and 7.7% for townhouse/condo homes. Inventory decreased by 8.6% for residential homes and 11.6% for townhouse/condo homes.
Median sales price increased 3.1% to $293,225 for residential homes and 16.8% to $224,900 for townhouse/condo homes. Days on market increased by 10% for residential homes and 4.8% for townhouse/condo homes. Months supply of inventory increased by 11.8% for residential homes and 15.4% for townhouse/condo homes.
Falling home sales have done little to cool home prices, however, which have continued to sit at record high levels nationally thanks to a limited supply of homes for sale. According to NAR, there were 1.11 million homes for sale heading into August, 14.6% fewer homes than the same period last year, for a 3.3 months’ supply at the current sales pace. The shortage of homes for sale has boosted competition for available properties and is driving sales prices higher, with NAR reporting a national median existing-home price of $406,700, a 1.9% increase from a year earlier.