The Balance Today: News You Need To Know on Aug. 18, 2022

Home sales fell 5.9% in July and 20.2% from one year ago

A real estate agent shows the features of a home to two women. All are standing on a backyard deck and looking at the roofline, their backs facing the camera.

The Good Brigade / Getty Images

The housing market continues to cool off, as home sales fell 5.9% in July, according to the latest data released this morning from the National Association of Realtors. Home sales were down over 20% from last year, and have been on the decline for six straight months now, as higher mortgage rates and soaring home prices are forcing buyers to put purchasing a home on hold. 

Buying a home continues to be unaffordable for many Americans, with the median sales price of a home climbing 10.8% from one year ago to $403,800, though that figure was down $10,000 from June’s record high of $413,800. The average rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage also jumped back over 5% last week, according to data from Freddie Mac. A recent survey by The Balance found that of those who were considering buying a home in the next year, 78% have decided to delay because of high prices. Some potential buyers have even backed out of buying a home due to increased costs. 

As the Federal Reserve raises interest rates to combat inflation, mortgage rates will likely continue to rise along with them, as borrowing costs climb for a wide range of loans. Yesterday, the Federal Reserve released minutes from its July meeting, which showed that more interest rate hikes will likely happen in the future. 

But rate increases won’t continue forever—policymakers stated that they might slow down the pace of rate hikes, depending on how they affect inflation and the economy. Already, trader expectations on how high the Fed will raise rates at its next meeting in September are shifting in favor of a lower hike of 50 basis points compared to the recent hikes of 75 basis points, according to CME Group’s FedWatch Tool, which is based on fed funds futures data.

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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.
  1. National Association of Realtors. “Existing-Home Sales Retreated 5.9% in July.”

  2. FreddieMac. “Primary Mortgage Market Survey.”

  3. Federal Reserve. “Minutes of the Federal Open Market Committee. July 26–27, 2022.”

  4. CME Group. “CME FedWatch Tool.”

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