U.S. Home Sales Slowed in March Following Increases in Mortgage Rates and Home Prices
Even though median home prices surged in the U.S. in March, the housing market is showing signs of slowing down.
The country’s property market experienced the fastest transactions and the most homes sold for above their asking price last month, making it the hottest March on record, according to a Friday Redfin report.
Meanwhile, median home prices increased by 17.3% year-over-year and by 6.2% compared to February, which was the fastest monthly increase during the same time of year since 2013.
However, home sales—adjusted for seasonality—fell by 4% compared to February and by 8% compared to March 2021, signaling a cooldown in the market as mortgage rates increased.
“Although pricey coastal markets began showing early signs of a slowdown in late March, nationwide sales data for the full month reflects the hottest March market on record, since homes that sold last month mostly went under contract in February,” Daryl Fairweather, Redfin chief economist, said in the report.
A typical home was on the market for a little over a month before finding a buyer in March, and since the beginning of the year, homes have spent 11 fewer days on the market, according to a separate report released by Realtor.com on Thursday..
“We expect the combination of surging mortgage rates and record-high home prices to cause more homebuyers to drop out of the market,” Ms. Fairweather said. “Unfortunately, homeowners are turning their back on the market too. Instead of being motivated to list before prices weaken, potential home sellers may be choosing to wait-out the impending market cooldown.”
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Out of 88 large metropolitan areas, 79 saw a decrease in home sales compared to last year, according to Redfin data. The biggest sales declines were in North Port, Florida, with 30%; West Palm Beach, Florida, with 24%; and Lake County, Illinois, with 21%. The largest increases were in Fresno, California, with 6%; Philadelphia with 6%; and Oxnard, California, with 3%.
Overall, the majority of the metropolitan areas in the U.S. also experienced a decline in new listings and active listings, resulting in tighter inventory and higher prices.