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Home sales drop for 9th month

Home sales in the US declined for the ninth month in a row in October as surging mortgage rates and high prices pushed buyers out of the market.

Sales of existing homes – which include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops – were down 28.4% in October from a year ago and down 5.9% from September, according to the National Association of Realtors. All regions of the US saw month-over-month and year-over-year declines.

That continues a slowing trend that began in February and marks the longest streak of declining sales on record.

Sales in October were at their weakest level since May 2020, when the real estate market was at a standstill during the pandemic lockdowns. Beyond that, sales last month were the weakest they have been since December 2011.

Still, home prices continued to climb during the month. The median home price was $379,100 in October, up 6.6% from one year ago, according to the report. But that’s down from the record high of $413,800 in June. The price increase marks more than a decade of year-over-year monthly gains.

“More potential homebuyers were squeezed out from qualifying for a mortgage in October as mortgage rates climbed higher,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. “The impact is greater in expensive areas of the country and in markets that witnessed significant home price gains in recent years.”

This is a developing story and will be updated.

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