U.S. Home Prices Cool as Sales Slump in Pricey Western Cities

(Bloomberg) -- U.S. home-price gains and sales slowed in the third quarter as higher mortgage rates cut into affordability, the National Association of Realtors said.

  • The national median price of a previously owned single-family home was $266,900, up 4.8 percent from a year earlier. In last year’s third quarter, prices rose 5.3 percent on an annual basis.

Key Insights

  • While the inventory of home listings is climbing, it’s still historically low, and the job market is strong. The combined forces of a tight supply and heightened demand are still driving up prices, albeit at a slower pace. Higher borrowing costs have made some buyers hesitate.
  • While supplies are adequate on the high end, there is an insufficient supply of low- to mid-priced homes, so would-be buyers in those segments are getting pushed out of the market.
  • The West, where affordability problems are most extreme, is seeing the biggest declines in home sales. While transactions nationwide fell 2.4 percent from a year earlier, they dropped 7.9 percent in the West.

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  • Single-family home prices increased in the third quarter from a year earlier in 166 of the 178 metropolitan areas measured, the Realtors group said.
  • Eighteen regions had gains of 10 percent or more, down from 24 in the second quarter.
  • For a table on the data, click here.
  • For the Realtors group’s affordability index, click here.
  • Read about why Californians are leaving for more-affordable states.

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