The sale of existing homes in the U.S. continues to slide, and California has seen some of the largest declines in the nation.
Data released Wednesday by the shows existing home sales nationwide dipped 7.7% from October to November and were down 35.4% from the previous year.
“In essence, the residential real estate market was frozen in November, resembling the sales activity seen during the COVID-19 economic lockdowns in 2020,” said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. “The principal factor was the rapid increase in mortgage rates, which hurt housing affordability and reduced incentives for homeowners to list their homes. Plus, available housing inventory remains near historic lows.”
“With home prices cooling and market competition easing in recent months, some qualified buyers who missed out on the hurried market of the last two years are taking advantage of the shift and finding sellers more willing to negotiate than they have been up to this point,” said CAR President Jennifer Branchini.
In fact, existing home sales are severely depressed across the entire western United States, where sales fell 12.5% in November and were down 45.7% from a year ago.
“The West region experienced the largest decline in home sales and the smallest increase in home prices compared to the other regions of the country,” said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun.
The median price of an existing home in the west was $569,800 in November, up 2% from November 2021, NAR said.
Mortgage rates have dipped in recent weeks, giving experts some hope that the market may be thawing.
“The average monthly mortgage payment is now almost $200 less than it was several weeks ago when interest rates reached their peak for this year,” Yun said.