US mortgages highest since 2008, Florida home sales dropping
NBC - 8 WFLA (Tampa, FL)
TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — As mortgage rates continue to rise, the housing market in the United States is adjusting. The latest measure of the interest rate on a 30 year fixed rate mortgage hit 6.29% Thursday. For the third time in 2022, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell announced a 0.75 interest rate hike from the U.S. Central Bank, Wednesday. Higher mortgages come to the U.S. as housing prices have "slumped," according to Florida Realtors.
The real estate organization reported that as single-family home sales lowered and mortgage rates increased, the number of houses being sold in Florida fell. The latest Florida Realtors data, from August, showed a 15.8% home sale drop, statewide, compared to the year before.
The largest proportional drop in sales was in the Naples metropolitan area, where homes sales dropped 32.7%, even as the area had the highest prices in the state. However, the Naples metro had one of the lowest numbers of homes sold in the whole state, with just four other market areas having fewer sales.
The markets with the biggest portions of single-family homes sold in the state, such as Tampa, Miami, and Orlando, all had their sales numbers shrink, just not to the same degree, according to the realtor data.
While home prices nationally softened, Florida's prices were up 15% compared to the year before. The average home sold in Florida was bought for $407,000 according the data. In Tampa, prices were slightly lower than the state average, at $403,995. Still, it's an 18.8% increase compared to August 2021.
Nearby, Sarasota's area home prices were up 22%, at $500,000 flat for the median sale point. Miami's prices were up to $560,000, a 13.1% annual increase. However, their annual sales numbers were down 22.6% instead, as the whole state, with the exception of the Panama City and Gainesville markets saw sales decline.
Year-to-date, Tampa remains the Florida area with the largest number of sales. From January 2022 to August 2022, 32,615 of the state's 210,249 sales were in the Tampa metro area, marking 15.5% of the overall sales in the state this year. The Miami area had the next highest level, at 30,662 or 14.5% of all single-family homes sold.
Declining home sales follow weekly increases in the mortgage rates reported by Freddie Mac, a federally backed mortgage company. The latest increase was more than a quarter point.
"The housing market continues to face headwinds as mortgage rates increase again this week, following the 10-year Treasury yield's jump to its highest level since 2011," Sam Khater, Freddie Mac's Chief Economist, said. "Impacted by higher rates, house prices are softening, and home sales have decreased. However, the number of homes for sale remains well below normal levels."
Data from the Federal Reserve showed the stock fluctuations have affected household net worth across the U.S.
"The net worth of households and nonprofits fell to $143.8 trillion during the second quarter of 2022," the Federal Reserve reported. "The value of directly and indirectly held corporate equities decreased $7.7 trillion and the value of real estate increased $1.4 trillion."
The inventory level of available homes remains a hurdle for market stabilization, but buyer budgets have also decreased amid ongoing inflation. Lower net worth means fewer assets leverage for buying homes, or presenting collateral for a loan. Real estate company Redfin made a similar claim, saying slumping stocks are also hitting the ability of buyers to buy higher-priced homes.
"The overall slowdown and the popularity of relocating are both due to high home prices and mortgage rates that have doubled since last year," Taylor Marr, Redfin Deputy Chief Economist, said. "Persistent inflation and slumping stocks are also cutting into buyers' budgets, making relatively affordable areas even more attractive."
Inflation and higher mortgage rates are making it harder for home shoppers, according to the St. Louis Federal Reserve. The branch's mortgage data shows the rates are at their highest since the 2008 financial crisis, when mortgages hit 6.32% interest. The latest federal rate measure is just 0.02 points below that level.