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The average home price in the United States is below the asking price for the first time in nearly 18 months, according to online real estate broker Redfin.
The shift is mainly due to central banks raising interest rates at their fastest pace in decades, mortgage rates soaring and millions of people who bought homes cheaply during the epidemic facing higher payments. So buyers are retreating, and prices are falling in hot real estate markets such as the United States, Australia, Canada and Sweden.
Rob Subbaraman, head of global market research at Nomura Holdings, said: “interest rates have risen sharply at a time when inflation-adjusted real wages have fallen, which may be something that young households with debt have never experienced in their lives.”
In the four weeks to August 28, the ratio of the average selling price to the listing price fell to 99.8 per cent, according to Redfin. The ratio has never been below 100% since March 2021.
In addition, at the end of August, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) said that total sales of existing homes, which account for 90 per cent of US real estate market sales, were unexpectedly lower than expected again in July, falling for the sixth consecutive month and hitting a two-year low. Leading new home market data for July showed that sales fell at an accelerated pace, with inventories rising to levels last seen during the property crash in 2008.
Mortgage rates hit their highest level since June and are nearing 2022 highs in anticipation of further interest rate hikes by the Fed.
According to data released by Freddie Mac on Sept. 8, the average interest rate on a 30-year mortgage in the United States rose to 5.89% from 5.66% last week. Recently, US mortgage rates have continued to rise, rising by nearly one percentage point in the past month.
Although the US housing market has cooled so far this year, there are some signs that the market is beginning to level off. According to the Redfin report, the proportion of houses for sale is the same as in the previous four weeks, at 7.5 per cent.
But Daryl Fairweather, chief economist at Redfin, said in a statement: “while the cooling seems to be ending, there are signs that the market has more room to relax. The economic slowdown after Labor Day this year is likely to be more severe than in previous years when the market was super-tight. “