Existing home sales dropped to a dispiriting low in January, hitting the worst level in 12 years—but the rate of decline is slowing down, according to CNBC. Could this mean the market might start recovering soon?
The numbers: “Existing home sales fell 0.7% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.00 million units last month, the lowest level since October 2010,” the National Association of Realtors said on Tuesday.
- Sales have declined for 12 months in a row, something that hasn’t happened since 1999.
- The numbers hide a regional divide, with sales rising in the South and West while dropping in the Northeast and Midwest.
A positive data point: “Homebuilders sentiment rose to a five-month high in February, though morale remains depressed.”
The verdict: “’Home sales are bottoming out,’ said NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun,” according to U.S. News and World Report.
Fed watch: The Fed’s rate hikes have hammered the housing market, leading to these persistent declines in sales.
- Mortgage rates were rising again as of last week, according to Freddie Mac, after recent inflation and retail numbers stoked fears that the Fed will keep up its hikes through the summer.