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US Housing Market Update: Sales Decline, Affordability Issues, and Rising Mortgage Rates

May 20, 2024

The US housing market continues to face significant challenges, with affordability and inventory shortages remaining the biggest hurdles for prospective buyers. Here are some of the key developments making headlines today:

Existing Home Sales Declined Again in March

  • Existing home sales fell 4.3% in March to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.19 million, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR) as discussed in Existing-Home Sales Descended 4.3% in March. This reverses roughly half of the surprise jump seen in February.
  • The median existing-home price for all housing types was $375,700, up 0.9% from March 2023. This marks 130 consecutive months of year-over-year home price increases, the longest-running streak on record.
  • Total housing inventory rose 4.7% from February to 1.11 million units, but remains 22.2% lower than a year ago. The months’ supply of homes increased to 3.2, still well below the 6-month supply associated with a balanced market.

Housing Affordability Crisis Persists

Landmark Real Estate Commission Settlement

Mortgage Rates Remain Elevated, Impacting Affordability

Despite the challenges, some experts see reasons for cautious optimism in the months ahead, predicting a gradual rise in inventory and slowing home price appreciation as more sellers list properties. However, affordability will likely remain a key concern for buyers until mortgage rates and home prices stabilize.

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