Home sales sink for the ninth straight months

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Home sales plummet in October

(Illustration by The Real Deal with Getty)

Longest decline on record: NAR

Existing home sales fell again in October, marking the ninth straight month of decline — the longest slide on record.

Overall, October sales fell 28 percent from a year earlier, according to a report by the National Association of Realtors. Sales of previously owned homes declined 6 percent in October from the prior month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.43 million, the weakest rate since May 2020.

Existing-home sales have fallen approximately 32 percent from their recent peak in January.

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Rising interest rates impacting Boston condo sales

Sales have tanked as the Federal Reserve’s set off a series of interest rate hikes aimed at lowering inflation. Homebuyers have stepped away from the market, while surging interest rates deterred homeowners from selling and giving up their lower rates.

The average rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell to 6.61 percent this week, according to Freddie Mac. That’s down from 7.08 percent a week ago, which had been the highest rate in more than a decade. A year earlier, rates were at just 3.1 percent.

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Lack of new homes keeping prices from dropping

The lack of new homes on the market has kept prices from dropping despite home sales declining. The median existing-home price rose almost 7 percent in October from a year earlier to $379,100, according to NAR.

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Cash buyers have the upper hand

High mortgage rates mean cash buyers have the upper hand, cutting down on competition and boosting their chances at a discount. About 26 percent of October existing-home sales were purchased in cash, up from 24 percent in the same month a year ago, according to NAR.

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