Sales of previously occupied homes in the United States fell to a near 30-year low in 2023 as soaring mortgage rates, rising prices and persistently low market supply combined to put home ownership out of reach for many Americans. Associated press reports this.
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According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), 4.09 million homes were sold in the United States last year, which is 18.7% less than in 2022. This is the worst year for home sales since 1995 and the largest annual decline since 2007, when the housing market began to decline.
The average price of homes in the United States rose by slightly less than 1% for all of last year and reached record $389.8 thousand.
Last year's drop in home sales mirrors the nearly 18% annual decline in 2022, when mortgage rates began to more than double before the end of the year.
This trend remained in 2023, raising the average 30-year mortgage rate by the end of October to 7.79%, the highest level since the end of 2000.
At the end of December, there were only 1 million homes on the market. While that's up 4.2% from a year earlier, the number of available homes remains well below the historical monthly average of about 2.25 million.
However, a fall in mortgage rates since the end of last year and forecasts calling for further declines rates this year are fueling hopes that U.S. home sales will begin to rebound after dismal performance in 2023.