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Home prices continue to rise to all time high levels, with the median sales price for an existing home at $350,300.00, a 15.4% increase over last year. This increase makes 119 consecutive months that home sale prices have risen year-over-year, which is the longest-running streak on record. Sales of existing homes rose as well, increasing 6.7% over the prior month.
“ “Buyers were likely anticipating further rate increases and locking-in at the low rates, and investors added to overall demand with all-cash offers,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR’s Chief Economist. “Consequently, housing prices continue to move solidly higher.”
Specifically in the South, existing home sales rose 9.5% from the prior month. The median price was $312,400, which is 18.7% higher than the previous year. The South has sustained the highest rate of appreciation in the country for the fifth month in a row.
Overall, the total available housing inventory was 860,000 units at the end of January, which is an all time low and down 16.5% from a year ago.
“The inventory of homes on the market remains woefully depleted, and in fact is currently at an all-time low,” Yun said.
“Yun explained that the forthcoming increase in mortgage rates will be problematic for at least two market segments.
“First, some moderate-income buyers who barely qualified for a mortgage when interest rates were lower will now be unable to afford a mortgage,” he said. “Second, consumers in expensive markets, such as California and the New York City metro area, will feel the sting of nearly an additional $500 to $1000 in monthly payments due to rising rates.”