Getty Images writes, "what a difference a year can make.

Today’s mortgage rates are more than 1 percentage point higher than a year ago. Plus, rates edged even further up this week, to 6.39% for a 30-year fixed-rate loan, compared with 6.35% a week earlier, according to Freddie Mac.

These stubbornly high interest rates, combined with headstrong home prices, have plunged the entire housing market into a strange sort of stalemate.

On the one hand, 82% of home sellers feel “locked in” by the low mortgage rates they’d secured years earlier. Meanwhile, cash-strapped homebuyers with few new listings to pique their interest feel locked out of the American dream.

Yet despite this unrelenting real estate limbo, there are small signs of life kicking around that spell hope in the weeks ahead.

“While today’s 30-year fixed mortgage rate is more than 1 percentage point higher than a year ago, several housing indicators showed that buyers and sellers are still actively seeking opportunities, though at a slower pace,” notes Danielle Hale, chief economist for®, in her weekly analysis.

Here’s what the most recent housing statistics mean for both buyers and sellers in our latest installment of “How’s the Housing Market This Week?

The median asking price on a home in April was $430,000. Yet for the week ending May 13, home prices came in a mere 1.1% higher than a year ago—less than half the price growth seen in the previous three straight weeks (2.4%).

Practically, this means that “price growth is weakening,” says Hale. Yet she still points out that “significant price declines are not observed.” For now, “sellers are still in a very good position.”

Why home sellers aren’t listing

Even though home sellers are sitting pretty on record amounts of home equity, many remain skittish about listing since it would mean trading in their low mortgage rate for something much higher.

As a result, the number of new listings hitting the market has declined for 45 straight weeks, and is still down by 25% compared with a year ago for the week ending May 13.

Yet that doesn’t spell complete doom and gloom for homebuyers, since total housing stock (of listings both new and old) is still up 23% compared with the same week last year.

And here’s more good news according to Hale: “Recent fluctuations in new listing declines indicate that sellers are closely monitoring the market and looking for chances to maximize their profit.”

In other words, home sellers are watching and waiting for the right moment to strike—and when they do, the floodgates will open.

“With an improving seller’s sentiment and the approaching months when a large number of homes hit the market,” Hale anticipates, “it is very likely to see some improvement in new listings in the upcoming weeks.”

In other words, buyers should hang tight, since a fresh bounty of listings is bound to hit soon, which should help push prices down while also offering up a greater selection.

Why the pace of home sales is slow, but picking up

Homes continue to sit on the market longer than they did a year ago. For the week ending May 13, homes spent 15 more days on the market compared with last year, marking 41 weeks in a row that it’s taken longer to sell a home compared with the same week the previous year.

However, this slower pace of home sales does seem to be picking up just a bit.

“While homes are sitting on the market for a longer time period than a year ago,” Hale notes, “a shrinking difference suggests competitions still exist.”

In other words, opportunities for homebuyers and sellers are still out there if they look hard enough."


Written by: Margaret Heidenry 

Published: May 19, 2023

Posted by Grossman & Jones Group on


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