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U.S. home prices accelerate as housing supply tightens

The average American home listing price reaches $312,000 in October

In October, the average American home listing price climbed 4.3% year over year, reaching a high of $312,000, according to Realtor.com’s Housing Trend Report.

The company indicates this growth is partially attributed to a decline in housing inventory, which resulted in heightened competition during the month.

This competition continues to threaten homeownership for many Americans, especially the nation’s first-time buyers, who have been priced out of many entry-level homes, said George Ratiu, Realtor.com’s senior economist.

“Owning a home continues to be a priority for buyers, as we head into the cooler months of the year,” said Ratiu. “Driven by the tailwind of sub-4 percent mortgage rates, the steady demand for housing is drying market inventory at an accelerating pace.”

With dwindling supply, prices maintain their upward pressure, deepening the affordability challenges for first-time buyers, Ratiu said.

According to the company, the nation’s inventory declined 6.9% year over year in October, equating a loss of nearly 98,000 listings.

“Spurred by low mortgage rates, the uptick in demand this past spring gobbled up available inventory leaving the U.S. market depleted,” Realtor.com writes. “Nationally, inventory decreased 6.9% in October, an acceleration from September’s 4.1% drop.”

Furthermore, in the nation’s 50 largest housing markets, inventory declined by 5.3% year-over-year, dropping the most in San Diego-Carlsbad, California (-20.1%); Rochester, New York (-20.1 %); and Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, Arizona. (-20%). 

Overall, the volume of new listings hitting the market decreased by 3.4% year over year, falling the most in the entry-level segment.

In this segment, the number of homes priced under $200,000 dropped by 15.2% year-over-year, whereas mid-tier inventory level homes priced between $200,000 and $750,000 declined by only 4.3% year over year.

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