Home Sales Slide Slips Into Eighth Month

Off the Charts: The Visual Says It All

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A man and a woman review a home’s details on a tablet computer screen.

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It’s been getting harder and harder to sell a house all year long, and the trend only deepened in September, a chart of home sales shows. 

Existing homes sold in September at their slowest seasonally-adjusted annual rate since May 2020, the National Association of Realtors said in a report Thursday. That marked the eighth straight month of sales declines. 

And with the average rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage continuing to rise—hitting a two-decade high of 6.94% this week according to the Mortgage Bankers Association and Freddie Mac—there was no end in sight for the residential real estate slump, economists said. Higher borrowing costs brought on by the Federal Reserve’s campaign of anti-inflation interest rate hikes have been pushing buyers out of the market, putting increasing downward pressure on both sales and prices.

“Existing-home sales will remain weak this year but should be bottoming out as there is still significant need for housing,” Todd Metcalfe, an economist at Moody’s Analytics, said in a commentary. “Over the next year, house prices will drop, which will help with affordability.”

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  1. National Association of Realtors. “Existing-Home Sales Decreased 1.5% in September.”

  2. Freddie Mac. “Primary Mortgage Market Survey.”

  3. Mortgage Bankers Association. “Mortgage Applications Decrease in Latest MBA Weekly Survey.”

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