Existing home sales fall for 6th consecutive month

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(NewsNation) — Sales of previously owned homes fell for the sixth consecutive month, according to a report from the National Association of Realtors.

According to the report, sales were down 5.9% from June and 20.2% from one year ago.

“The ongoing sales decline reflects the impact of the mortgage rate peak of 6% in early June,” said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun in a release. “Home sales may soon stabilize since mortgage rates have fallen to near 5%, thereby giving an additional boost of purchasing power to home buyers.”

Unsold inventory sits at a 3.3-month supply at the current sales pace, according to the NAR, up from 2.9 months in June and 2.6 months in July 2021.

“We’re witnessing a housing recession in terms of declining home sales and home building,” Yun added. “However, it’s not a recession in home prices. Inventory remains tight and prices continue to rise nationally with nearly 40% of homes still commanding the full list price.”

The median existing-home sales price climbed 10.8% from one year ago to $403,800. That’s down $10,000, however, from last month’s record high of $413,800, according to NAR.

This reports comes as the pace of sales at U.S. retailers was unchanged from last month as persistently high inflation and rising interest rates forced many households to spend more cautiously.

America’s consumers, whose spending accounts for nearly 70% of economic activity, have remained mostly resilient even with year-over-year inflation near a four-decade high, economic uncertainties rising and mortgage and other borrowing rates surging.

Still, their overall spending has weakened, and it has shifted increasingly toward necessities such as groceries and away from discretionary items including home goods, casual clothes and electronics.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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