Home Prices Fall For The First Time In Over A Decade

John Hugh DeMastri 

Year-over-year home prices nudged down in February, breaking a nearly 11-year streak of consecutive price increases, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported Tuesday.

Prices fell 0.2% in February compared to the same month in 2022, representing a roughly $700 decline to a median price of $363,000, the NAR reported. While median housing prices have been declining from a record-high of $413,800 in June, February’s slide represents the first year-over-year price drop since February 2012, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Mortgage rates climbed rapidly after the Federal Reserve launched an aggressive series of interest rate hikes in March 2022 to combat inflation, hindering housing affordability. These elevated rates mean that even though prices have fallen slightly, the housing costs are still climbing, Jason Sorens, senior research faculty at the American Institute for Economic Research, told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

“Since February 2022, the average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage has gone up from 3.5% to 6.6%,” Sorens said. “Overall, then, monthly cost of homeownership is still going up,”

While sales were down nearly 23% on a year-over-year basis they shot up by 14.5% compared to January, snapping a 12-month slide in month-over-month home sales, the NAR reported.  Mortgage rates fell in January and February after cresting 7% late last year, prompting renewed interest in home buying, although rates were still much higher than they were at the same time the year prior, the WSJ reported.

“Conscious of changing mortgage rates, home buyers are taking advantage of any rate declines,” NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said in a press release. “Moreover, we’re seeing stronger sales gains in areas where home prices are decreasing and the local economies are adding jobs.”

By the end of February, however, mortgage rates had climbed back to 6.71%, a roughly 0.5 percentage point hike that sent new mortgage applications plunging to a 28-year low, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. The surge in rates was driven in part by concerns that inflation was not cooling as fast as experts had hoped.

Housing inventory is still at “historic lows,” Yun noted, with current inventory levels sufficient to supply just 2.6 months of current demand. Housing affordability has been hindered in part by a lack of available housing, which has pushed prices up, pinching customers alongside elevated mortgage rates.

All content created by the Daily Caller News Foundation, an independent and nonpartisan newswire service, is available without charge to any legitimate news publisher that can provide a large audience. All republished articles must include our logo, our reporter’s byline and their DCNF affiliation. For any questions about our guidelines or partnering with us, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

Jim Williams is the Washington Bureau Chief, Digital Director as well as the Director of Special Projects for Genesis Communications. He is starting his third year as part of the team. This is Williams 40th year in the media business, and in that time he has served in a number of capacities. He is a seven time Emmy Award winning television producer, director, writer and executive. He has developed four regional sports networks, directed over 2,000 live sporting events including basketball, football, baseball hockey, soccer and even polo to name a few sports. Major events include three Olympic Games, two World Cups, two World Series, six NBA Playoffs, four Stanley Cup Playoffs, four NCAA Men’s National Basketball Championship Tournaments (March Madness), two Super Bowl and over a dozen college bowl games. On the entertainment side Williams was involved s and directed over 500 concerts for Showtime, Pay Per View and MTV Networks.