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Special Report

Housing Research Brief

July 2023

Single-Family Housing Market is Deadlocked as
Owners with Lower Rates Sit Tight

Home listings plunge to the third-lowest mark on record. The average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage nudged closer to 7 percent at the turn of the second quarter, rising almost 70 basis points from the low point of that period. Debt costs are set to remain heightened in wake of the Federal Reserve’s most recent 25-basis-point benchmark policy rate hike enacted in July as well. This continues to disincentivize homeowners from listing and trading out lower rate mortgages. Exemplifying this, Federal Housing Finance Agency data suggests that less than 10 percent of existing home mortgages were taken out with rates above 6 percent, while more than half of homeowners are locked into sub-4 percent rates. As a result, the number of existing homes on the market in June fell to the smallest count in 16 months, and the third-lowest figure since the 1980s. Even as buyer demand cools in response to higher debt costs, the lack of listings is proving to be a more powerful force, as the median home price rose for a fourth straight month in June. 

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