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U.S. home prices sink under weight of higher interest rates

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Brett Rowland

(The Center Square) – The median existing-home price for all housing types declined 3.1 percent in May from the same month in the prior year – the biggest drop in more than a decade.

The national median existing-home price was $396,100 in May, down 3.1 percent from $408,600 in May 2022, the National Association of Realtors said.

Existing-home sales increased 0.2 percent from April, but year-over-year sales dropped 20.4 percent. 

"Mortgage rates heavily influence the direction of home sales," National Association of Realtors Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said. "Relatively steady rates have led to several consecutive months of consistent home sales."

Housing inventory remains tight for existing homes, but new construction is a different story.

"Available inventory strongly impacts home sales, too," Yun said. "Newly constructed homes are selling at a pace reminiscent of pre-pandemic times because of abundant inventory in that sector. However, existing-home sales activity is down sizably due to the current supply being roughly half the level of 2019."

And the homes on the market are going quick.

Properties typically remained on the market for 18 days in May, down from 22 days in April, but up from 16 days in May 2022. About 74 percent of homes sold in May were on the market for less than a month, according to the National Association of Realtors.