2023 Was Slowest Year For US Home Sales In Nearly 30 Years As High Mortgage Rates Frustrated Buyers –The Associated Press

The Associated Press

Sales of previously occupied U.S. homes sank in 2023 to a nearly 30-year low, as sharply higher mortgage rates, rising prices and a persistently low level of homes on the market combined to push homeownership out of reach for many Americans. The National Association of Realtors® said Friday that existing U.S. home sales totaled 4.09 million last year, an 18.7% decline from 2022. That is the weakest year for home sales since 1995 and the biggest annual decline since 2007, the start of the housing slump of the late 2000s. The median national home price for all of last year edged up just under 1% to record high $389,800, the NAR said. The sharply higher home loan borrowing costs limited home hunters’ buying power on top of years of soaring prices. A dearth of homes for sale also kept many would-be homebuyers and sellers on the sidelines. Still, a pullback in mortgage rates since late last year, and forecasts calling for a further rate declines this year, is fueling hopes that home sales will begin to bounce back from their dismal showing in 2023. “The latest month’s sales look to be the bottom before inevitably turning higher in the new year,” said Lawrence Yun, the NAR’s chief economist. “Mortgage rates are meaningfully lower compared to just two months ago, and more inventory is expected to appear on the market in upcoming months.”

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