Home sales on track for slowest year since housing bust

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By georgeskef

Mortgage rates and limited inventory are a hindrance to the residential real estate market. The the highest mortgage rates for 23 years is dragging home sales down to their lowest level since the subprime crises period.

According to economists, the number of sales of previously owned houses in 2023 is expected to decline to a level not seen since 2011, when the U.S. was a smaller country and still recovering from the worst housing crisis of all time.

According to a surevey with real estate agents, redfin the number of existing home sales is expected to be around 4.1 millions in 2023, which is the lowest since 2008, when the housing market began to slump. Lehman Brothers collapsed The global financial crisis was sparked by this. Zhao predicted that sales would not increase much in the coming year as mortgage rates are likely to remain high.

She said, “We are in for a pretty prolonged freeze.”

The housing slowdown this year is very different from the one that followed the burst of the housing bubble in the early 2000s. The economy was in a deep depression and millions of homeowners lost their homes.

Home sales are slowing down this time due to rising borrowing costs, home prices at record highs, and a limited number of homes available for sale.The speed of the rise in mortgage rates has been driving away even the most committed buyers. According to the latest figures, the average rate for a 30-year mortgage fixed at 7.57% rose last week. Freddie Mac This is an increase of about a half-percentage point from August when rates were above 7% for nearly a month and home sales dropped to their lowest level in a decade. lowest level since January .

Mortgage Bankers Association reports that purchase mortgages fell in late September, to their lowest level since 1995. This is an indication of continued home sales decline in the months to come.

In normal years, prices are usually lower in the winter and fall because families avoid moving during the school year.

The National Association of Realtors reports that if existing-home sales are even lower than anticipated, at less than four million units, it would be the first time since 1995 that they have fallen below this level.

The housing market’s shrinkage will have ripple effects on the economy as a whole.

This could force some who want to be homeowners , to continue renting . Rent increases helped to push up U.S. Consumer Prices in September. If rents continue to rise, it could be harder for the Federal Reserve not to increase interest rates.

Home builders may also be prompted to reduce new construction due to a slowdown in home sales. This could limit spending on items related with housing, such as furniture and appliances.

The slowdown in the home sales is not the same across the country. Real-estate agents claim that well-maintained homes in good neighborhoods often sell quickly and for more than their asking price. Realtor.com reports that almost 18% (or a record high) of the homes listed for sale in September were reduced by their price. This is the highest rate since November 2022. 

News Corp Realtor.com is operated by the parent company of The Journal. The market is definitely slowing down, said Steven Fischer, an agent in Savannah, Ga.

Desiree Edgington listed the three-bedroom ranch style house of her late mother in Hesston (Kansas) for $650,000, just a few months following her mother’s death, in October 2022. Edgington has agreed to give the buyers a $7,000 credit. The house is currently under contract at $400,000 and Edgington will pay that amount.

Edgington stated, “We expected the item to sell immediately. Then the prices went up again.” “We had no choice but to drop our price.”

According to the NAR home-buying affordability has fallen to its lowest level since 1985. This means that in many markets only those with high salaries or plenty of money can afford to purchase homes at this time.

The affordability issue is likely to persist because prices have not fallen, despite rising mortgage rates. The supply of houses for sale is far below normal levels because homeowners who bought or refinanced at low mortgage rates are reluctant to sell.

Builders, whose sales grew faster than expected during the first half of this year, also feel a slowdown. The shortage of homes for sale and the ability to provide incentives that lower mortgage rates have been a boon for builders. With rates as they are, a reduction of a percentage point might not be enough to make a home purchase attractive.

According to the National Association of Home Builders, the confidence of home builders declined for the second consecutive month in September, and 32% of them reported that they had cut prices last month.

Only 16% of consumers who were surveyed by Fannie MaeIn September, the number of people who said that it was a great time to buy a house matched the lowest level ever recorded in data dating back to mid 2010.

Yonatan and his wife are looking to purchase a home in New Jersey since about a year.

He said, “Inventory seems to be very limited.” “We have found that the longer we wait, interest rates and home prices continue to rise, making it harder and harder.”