Home Sales Fall for 12th Straight Month in Jan. as Median Price Rises for Record 131th Consecutive Month, Year Over Year

Sales of existing homes fell for 12th straight month in January as the median existing-home price rose for a record 131th straight month, year over year, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported Tuesday.

Sales in January, at a seasonally adjusted rate of 4.00 million units, were down 0.7% from December’s level, while unadjusted sales were down 36.9% from January of 2022. Sales fell from year-ago in all four regions of the country, NAR’s monthly report reveals

The median existing-home price for all housing types in January was $359,000, an increase of 1.3% from January 2022 ($354,300), as prices climbed in three out of four U.S. regions, while falling in the West. The median existing-home price has now risen for 131 consecutive months, year-over-year, the longest-running streak on record.

The inventory of unsold existing homes grew from the prior month to 980,000 at the end of January, up 2.1% from December and 15.3% from one year ago (850,000).

Meanwhile, as of mid-February, mortgage rates are rising, NAR reports:


“According to Freddie Mac, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (link is external) averaged 6.32% as of February 16. That’s up from 6.12% from the previous week and 3.92% one year ago.”

The current rates aren’t just discouraging first-time buyers. At double their 2021 levels, today’s mortgage rates are discouraging some current homeowners from putting their homes on the market, Nationwide Senior Economist Ben Ayers told Fox Business:

“Sellers remain reticent to jump into the down market with new listings so far in 2023 running behind 2022 and 2021.

“The vast majority of homeowners have a mortgage rate below 4%, making a swap to current rates a tough pill to swallow. As such, the supply of existing homes on the market remains near historic lows, further limiting transactions across the market.”


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