Unlike in Housing Bubble, Home Buyers Now Put Off by Rising Prices

Would-be home buyers see high prices as a deterrent, not an incentive to get in the market

by Andrea Riquier
Market Watch

There’s a paradox in Monday’s existing-home sales data.

Sales slid 7.1% to the lowest pace since November, the National Association of Realtors said. NAR has warned for many months that low levels of supply, which are pushing prices ever higher, will eventually cripple the market.

February’s decline may be a sign that the Realtors’ fears are coming true, although it may still turn out to be a temporary blip caused by weather, new closing regulations, and the difficulties of adjusting data to account for all those anomalies.

Still, as NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said in a statement, “the main issue continues to be a supply and affordability problem. Finding the right property at an affordable price is burdening many potential buyers.”

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