Home Prices Hit a Record High –The Wall Street Journal

The Wall Street Journal

Home prices rose in May to a new high, with low inventory continuing to spur bidding wars among home buyers in some markets. The national median existing-home price in May was $419,300, a record in data going back to 1999, the National Association of Realtors® said Friday. That was up 5.8% from a year earlier.

Those high prices, paired with elevated mortgage rates, have limited the number of sales this spring—typically the busiest season for home buying. Sales of previously owned homes decreased 0.7% from the prior month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.11 million, the third straight monthly decline, NAR said.

Even though demand is low, home prices are still rising because high mortgage rates are deterring potential sellers from listing their homes, keeping the supply of homes on the market lower than normal. Sales of high-price homes are also rising faster than sales of midprice or affordable homes, pushing up the median price. “Somewhat of a strange phenomenon, where we have low home-sales activity yet prices are hitting record highs,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. “Affordability is a challenge.”

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