Sales of existing homes fell for the eleventh consecutive month in December, according to the National Association of Realtors.
Existing home sales decreased 1.5% between November and December 2022 and dropped 34% from the previous December.
Of four United States regions, three saw a drop in sales, while the western region remained stable.
Housing prices have risen for 130 consecutive months, the longest period of increase yet recorded. The average median existing home price increased 2.3% in 2022, from $358,800 in December 2021, to $366,900 in December 2022.
The percentage of first-time buyers purchasing existing homes increased from 28% in November to 31% in December. Despite the short-term increase, the National Association of Realtors said only 26% of purchases between November 2021 and November 2022 came from first-time buyers, in their 2022 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers.
The first-time buyer figure is the lowest yearly percentage recorded since the National Association of Realtors started collecting data.
High interest rates have contributing to lackluster sales across multiple industries, including housing. While Freddie Mac reports that average interest rates for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage stood at 6.15% as of January 19, down from 6.33% the previous week, interest rates are nearly double the 3.56% average recorded one year ago.