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U.S. Housing Inventory Is Rising as Mortgage Rates Deter Buyers




U.S. housing stock is rising as many potential buyers pull back given the highest mortgage rates in decades.

Active inventory – the number of homes available for sale – rose 36% year over year in the week ending Thursday, the biggest increase since July, according to data released Thursday by Realtor .com.

The overall inventory growth occurred even though new listings, or homes put on the market during the week, were down 13% from the same time last year. “The driving factor is the same: rising mortgage rates,” Danielle Hale, chief economist at, said in the report.

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The average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage topped 7% last week for the first time in 20 years, according to Freddie Mac’s weekly survey released Thursday.

Another sign of market downturn was that it took longer to sell. Homes went seven days longer before finding a buyer compared to the same week last year, according to the report.

Meanwhile, house prices rose at a slower pace week-over-week. The median listing price rose 13% from a year ago, compared to 13.2% and 13.3% recorded in the previous two weeks. So far this year, the median listing price has increased by 14.1%, due to the price surge in the first months of 2022.

“Yet rapidly growing house prices and rising mortgage rates mean homebuyers are still looking for affordability,” Ms. Hale said. “Markets that offer good real estate value, like Johnson City, Tennessee, will attract home buyers.”

Florida and Tennessee, along with other Sun Belt locales, have seen huge population growth due to their relatively affordable prices, according to a separate report released Tuesday by in conjunction with the Wall Street Journal.