In its continued effort to curb inflation, the Federal Reserve raised its
benchmark interest rate in February by a quarter-percentage point to 4.50% –
4.75%, its 8th rate hike since March of last year, when the interest rate was
nearly zero. Mortgage interest rates have dipped slightly from their peak last
fall, leading pending sales to increase 8.1% month-to-month as of last
measure, but affordability constraints continue to limit homebuyer activity
overall, with existing-home sales declining for the twelfth consecutive month,
according to the National Association of Realtors® (NAR).
Closed Sales decreased 12.8 percent for existing homes and 14.0 percent for
new homes. Pending Sales decreased 15.9 percent for existing homes and
40.8 percent for new homes. Inventory increased 5.9 percent for existing
homes and 79.8 percent for new homes.
The Median Sales Price was up 2.9 percent to $250,000 for existing homes
and 2.2 percent to $510,760 for new homes. Days on Market increased 50.0
percent for existing homes and 35.5 percent for new homes. Supply increased
28.6 percent for existing homes and 109.7 percent for new homes.
With buyer demand down from peak levels, home price growth has continued
to slow nationwide, although prices remain up from a year ago. Sellers have
been increasingly cutting prices and offering sales incentives in an attempt to
attract buyers, who have continued to struggle with affordability challenges
this winter. The slight decline in mortgage rates earlier this year convinced
some buyers to come off the sidelines, but with rates ticking up again in
recent weeks, buyers are once again pulling back, causing sales activity to
remain down heading into spring.
*Information and stats courtesy of KCRAR and Heartland MLS.