Nicole Friedman of The Wall Street Journal report home sales fell in September to the lowest rate in 13 years, showing the corner of the economy most weakened by high-interest rates and remains in decline. She writes:
For all of 2023, sales of previously owned homes are on track to be the lowest since at least 2011, because increased rates are weighing on demand. But high rates are also limiting the inventory of homes on the market, because homeowners with low rates are unwilling to sell and move. The small supply is pushing home prices higher in much of the U.S.
Existing home sales, which make up most of the housing market, decreased 2% in September from the prior month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 3.96 million, the lowest rate since October 2010, the National Association of Realtors said Thursday. September sales fell 15.4% from a year earlier.
The national median existing-home price rose 2.8% in September from a year earlier to $394,300, NAR said. That was the highest price for any September in data going back to 1999, said Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. Prices aren’t adjusted for inflation.
“People are priced out,” Yun said. “The story of limited inventory and rising, and rising, [and] rising mortgage rates continue to hinder the home sales market.”
The slowing housing market is one of the most direct results of the Federal Reserve’s efforts to curb inflation and cool the economy by raising its benchmark interest rate to a 22-year high. Fed officials were split in September over whether they would need to raise interest rates again this year, according to meeting minutes released last week. […]
A measure of U.S. home-builder confidence fell in October for the third straight month, the National Association of Home Builders said this week.
Housing starts, a measure of U.S. home-building, rose 7% in September from August, the Commerce Department said this week. Residential permits, which can be a bellwether for future home construction, fell 4.4%.
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