US home sales fall again in July as housing slowdown deepens

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Los Angeles — US home sales of pre-authorized US homes slowed for the sixth straight month in July, deepening the housing market’s decline under the weight of increasingly high mortgage rates, rising inflation and slowing, but still solid, home prices. .

The National Association of Realtors said Thursday that current home sales fell 5.9% from June last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.81 million. According to FactSet, this is less than economists expected.

Sales are down 20.2% since July last year. Near the start of the pandemic, sales have now fallen at the slowest pace since May 2020.

The last time there was a six-month losing streak for home sales was between August 2013 and January 2014.

The slowdown in sales was most pronounced in the western part of the country, home to some of the country’s most expensive housing markets. NAR said sales in the region declined by 30 per cent last month as compared to a year ago.

Even though the housing market is losing steam, home prices continue to rise rapidly. The national median home value rose 10.8% in July to $403,800 from a year earlier. This is a slower growth rate than earlier this year, when prices were climbing about 20% annually.

The late July sales report is evidence that the housing market, a key driver of economic growth, is slowing from its steepest pace in recent years as homebuyers grapple with increasingly higher mortgage rates than a year ago. Huh.

Average weekly interest rates for the benchmark 30-year home loan have been easing since climbing to 5.81% in June. The rate fell to 5.13% this week, according to mortgage buyer Freddie Mac. This is significantly higher than a year ago when it averaged 2.86.

House hunters had a wider selection of properties to choose from in July, as the number of properties for sale jumped 4.8% from June to 1.31 million homes. This was unchanged from July last year.

Yet, on average, homes sold in just 14 days after they hit the market last month, which corresponds to a record pace since June. Before the pandemic, homes were typically sold for more than 30 days after being listed for sale.

At the current selling pace, the level of properties for sale equates to 3.3 months’ supply, NAR said. This is up from 2.9 months in June and 2.6 months in July 2021. This is still below the 5 to 6 months supply indicating a more balanced market between buyers and sellers.

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