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Special Report

Housing Research Brief

February 2024

Home Prices Hit All-Time High, Leading
Apartment Renters to Favor Long Leases

Window of stronger buyer demand lifted home prices. The median sale price of an existing single-family home surged to a record high of $405,600 in January 2024, after holding under $400,000 for the majority of the past two years. That month-over-month growth was the largest since May 2022, a price escalation that was primarily a result of relatively lower interest rates encouraging some prospective buyers to move off the sidelines. The average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell to 6.6 percent during January, representing an eight-month low and corresponding with the number of existing home sales strengthening to its highest point since August 2023. As of late February of this year, however, the average mortgage rate climbed back up to 6.9 percent amid the impact of stubborn inflation on long-term bond yields. The combination of all-time-high home prices and renewed upward movement in debt costs could stymie home purchases near term. 

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