The housing market registers the sharpest decline in sales in almost two decades: report

New data indicates the housing market is about to see its most severe fall in nearly two decades as home sales hit their lowest level in seven years.

Existing home sales data showed a 5.9% drop from June to July and a 20.2% drop from the same period a year earlier, marking the sixth consecutive month of decline. The median home price rose 10.8% from a year ago to $403,800, but it̵[ads1]7;s still down $10,000 from last month’s high, according to the National Association of Realtors.

These falls occurred despite the inventory of unsold homes rising to 1.31 million by the end of July.

“The ongoing sales decline reflects the impact of the 6% mortgage rate spike in early June,” said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. “Home sales may soon stabilize since mortgage interest rates have fallen to close to 5%, thus giving home buyers an extra boost of purchasing power.”


“We are witnessing a housing recession in terms of declining home sales and home construction,” Yun added. “However, there is not a recession in home prices. Inventory remains tight and prices continue to rise nationally with nearly 40% of homes still at full list price.”

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The increase in mortgage interest rates has helped to quickly cool down what had been a red-hot housing market, reaching a record high in median house prices. The Federal Reserve raised interest rates in an effort to curb rampant inflation.

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The six-month decline marks perhaps the fastest decline since 2005, according to Seeking Alpha.

The average seasonally adjusted rate of house sales over the past decade has been around 5.35 million, but today’s level is around 4.81 million, down from 6.50 million in six months. Only the first year of the pandemic shows a more serious decline in home sales.

The housing market registers the sharpest decline in sales in almost two decades: report

A For Sale sign is posted in front of a property in Monterey Park, California on August 16, 2022. – The US housing market is falling due to higher interest rates with fewer starts and more canceled deals. (Photo by FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images / Getty Images)

The previous non-pandemic rate to hit a similar cliff dive occurred in 2005 after the housing bubble peaked. The following decline occurred over nine months from 2006 to 2007 and rolled into the 2008 housing crisis.


And the Conference Board posted an annual rate of change in its leading economic index of 0%. Seeking Alpha noted that if the rate were to enter negative territory, it would be the 13th time since 1960, and 66% of the previous instances preceded a recession.

FOX Business’ Megan Henney contributed to this report

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