Existing Home Sales Down Slightly, But FHFA Home Prices Still Increasing

August 6, 2015
Last updated:
July 22, 2022
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Existing home sales in the US declined by 3.4% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.41 million in May of 2022, the lowest since June of 2020.

Buyers Influenced by Home Appreciation and Rising Mortgage Rates

Sales recovery was strong as buyers who were waiting throughout the pandemic to buy finally came out of the woodworks to make a purchase. This increase in buyer confidence was closely tied to low mortgage rates and employment gains.

Buyers now are likely influenced by rising mortgage rates. Rates remained very low throughout 2022, giving buyers incentive to get into the market, but now have doubled since the start of the year.

As of July 2022, the national median home price rose by 19.8 percent year over year to $354,165, according to Zillow. However, the Federal Reserve Economic Data puts median home prices for the nation at $428,700.

While this news paints a rosy picture for housing markets, challenges remain. Strict mortgage standards are an obstacle for the first time and moderate-income buyers as well as for buyers with less than stellar credit scores.

While construction of new homes is increasing, it still may not be enough to meet demand. Housing inventory in June was 19% higher than a year ago, but overall inventory is still only around 50% of where it was 3 years ago. The median listing price in June hit another record high of $450,000, and buyers are struggling with rising mortgage rates as well as the fact that the costs of owning the median-priced home today require 31.5% of the average U.S. wage, the highest since 2007.

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FHFA House Prices Rise in April

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) reported that home prices associated with mortgage loans owned or backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are up. As of June 28th 2022, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) had released its U.S. House Price Index (HPI) for April.  

House prices rose nationwide in April, up 1.6 percent from the previous month. Year over year, house prices rose 18.8 percent from April 2021 to April 2022. The previously reported 1.5 percent price change for March 2022 was revised upward to 1.6 percent. As home prices continue to climb, we may see more movement. 

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