Lower sales of new homes under $300,000 in 2022

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It is becoming more and more difficult to find an affordable new home.

Just 14% of new home sales last month had prices below $300,000, according to data released Tuesday by the US Census Bureau.

By comparison, in March 2021, 34% of new home sales were under $300,000. The picture was even bleaker at the $200,000 threshold: just 1% of new homes sold in March 2022 cost less than that, compared to 2% the year before.

“Buyers are facing sticker shock due to deteriorating affordability conditions and a lack of existing home inventory,” said Danushka Nanayakkara-Skillington, assistant vice president of forecasting and analytics at the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), in a press release.

The median price for a new home sold in March was $436,700, the data showed. That’s a 21.4% jump from the median selling price of $359,600 in March 2021.

NAHB President Jerry Konter said the rise in new home prices was the result of mortgage rates, which are now above 5%, as well as rising construction and development costs that builders are facing. When new homes are less affordable, sales slow down. The number of new home sales last month was 12.6% lower than a year earlier, according to the Census Bureau.

Of course, it’s not just new builds that are getting more expensive. In March, the median sale price of an existing home was $373,300, according to data from the National Association of Realtors. This is a jump of 15% compared to the previous year.

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Why are houses so expensive?

A surge in demand for homes during the pandemic, combined with a severe shortage of inventory, has driven home prices up about 20% in the past year alone, and prices are expected to rise further in 2022. rising mortgage rates only intensified the crisis, and homes became unaffordable for a growing share of Americans.

But even though the market is still much hotter than before the pandemic, there are signs that the rapid price growth is beginning to slow. Data released Monday by real estate brokerage Redfin showed competitiveness slipping for the first time since September, with rising rates and prices pushing some buyers out of the market.

“This should bring some relief to people who can still afford to buy,” Redfin chief economist Daryl Fairweather said in a blog post, “as they are likely to face fewer competing offers. and may no longer need to bid considerably more than the asking price in order to win.”

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