U.S. existing home sales have declined on an annual basis for eight straight months, the longest slump in more than four years, according to the National Association of Realtors report Wednesday. The slowdown has been driven by places that had earlier seen some of the strongest price growth during this recovery, including Seattle, Denver, New York City, Boston and the Bay Area.
Since the beginning of the year, mortgage rates have risen about a percentage point, to the highest level since 2011.
“We have this huge affordability crisis,” said Ted Wilson, principal at Residential Strategies, a Dallas consulting firm. “With mortgage rates going higher, we’re hitting a ceiling.”