News Mortgage News Home Sales Drop to 2019 Levels As Pandemic Boom Fades Existing home sales fall for a fourth month, reaching pre-pandemic levels By Diccon Hyatt Diccon Hyatt Diccon Hyatt has written hundreds of articles about how public policy and the economy intersect with personal finance, tracking all the latest dynamics affecting your money. Before joining The Balance, he covered business and community news for 17 years, including Princeton, New Jersey's high-tech Route 1 Corridor. learn about our editorial policies Updated on June 21, 2022 Fact checked by Glenn Hunter Fact checked by Glenn Hunter Glenn Hunter has written or edited thousands of articles over four decades, including on the savings and loan and subprime mortgage crises. Before bringing topics like tax policy and mortgage trends to life at The Balance, he edited for the Dallas Business Journal and freelanced for Fortune and the Los Angeles Times. learn about our editorial policies Photo: Marko Geber / Getty Images The high-flying pandemic-era housing market is finally falling back down to earth—at least in terms of the number of homes being sold. Sales of existing homes fell 3.4% in May, a fourth straight month of decline that brought sales down to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.41 million, on par with pre-pandemic levels, the National Association of Realtors said in a report Tuesday. The number of single-family homes, townhomes, condos, and co-ops for sale increased to 1.16 million in May from 1.03 million in April but remained near historic lows. With demand still far exceeding supply, the median sale price rose to $407,600, breaking the $400,000 level for the first time. With the continuing cooldown in sales, the housing market is starting to look more like it did in 2019 before COVID-19 hit and changed everything about the market. During the pandemic, ultra-low mortgage rates and an influx of buyers seeking space to support the telecommuting lifestyle fueled a boom in home sales and rapid price increases. But recent spikes in borrowing costs—a result of the Federal Reserve’s campaign of interest rate hikes to combat soaring inflation—have made buying a house less affordable, decreasing demand and slowing sales. “The combo of low supply, high prices, and rising interest rates are creating major hurdles for potential homebuyers,” Priscilla Thiagamoorthy, an economist at BMO Capital Markets, said in a commentary. “Looking ahead, all signs point to a weakening housing market as financial conditions tighten further.” Have a question, comment, or story to share? You can reach Diccon at email@example.com. Want to read more content like this? Sign up for The Balance’s newsletter for daily insights, analysis, and financial tips, all delivered straight to your inbox every morning. Was this page helpful? Thanks for your feedback! Tell us why! Other Submit Sources The Balance uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy. National Association of Realtors. "Existing-Home Sales Fell 3.4% in May; Median Sales Price Surpasses $400,000 for the First Time." BMO Capital Markets. "U.S. Existing Home Sales: Running Down That Hill."