A trend in American real estate shows residential home prices are falling across the country, led by the San Francisco Bay region.
U.S. home prices declined overall by 4.9 percent, or $2.3 trillion, in the second half of 2022, according to a report published Wednesday by the Seattle-based residential brokerage Redfin.
According to the report, this comes after prices peaked in June, with homes valued at $47.7 trillion in the wake of the COVID pandemic.
This is the largest June-to-December drop in value since the 2008 housing crisis, when values nosedived by 5.8 percent between June and December of that year, Redfin reported.
“The housing market has been shedding value because homebuyer demand has waned, which has also caused home prices to fall from their peak,” Redfin reported. “The median U.S. home sale price was $383,249 in January, down 11.5% from a peak of $433,133 in May, and up just 1.5% from January 2022.”
Still, American homes have a total value that is $13 trillion higher than they were in February 2020, according to the report.
“The housing market has shed some of its value, but most homeowners will still reap big rewards from the pandemic housing boom,” Chen Zhao, a lead researcher at Redfin, said in the report.
So while prices are not completely collapsing as they did in 2008, there are some economic concerns.
According to the Redfin report, the demand for homes has been weakened due to the Federal Reserve’s attempts to tighten fixed mortgage rates, which reached a 20-year high of 7.08 percent in November.
While that rate did fall to 6.36 percent in December, they have been on the rise again to start the new year. On Thursday, according to Investopedia, the 30-year fixed rate was 7.01 percent.
“Unfortunately, a lot of people were left behind. Many Americans couldn’t afford to buy homes even when mortgage rates hit rock bottom in 2021, which means they missed out on a significant wealth-building opportunity,” Zhao stated in the report.
According to Insider, the National Association of Realtors said on Tuesday that the housing market may be bottoming out, with existing home sales at their lowest since 2010.
The rise and fall of home values have interesting contrasts between regions.
As pointed out in Redfin’s report, Florida, Miami in particular, is seeing strong increases in home value, rising by 19.7 percent as Florida continues to grow in population post-COVID.
Knoxville, Tennessee, and Charleston, South Carolina, also saw sizable increases in value, according to the report.
On the other hand, cities and localities such as San Francisco and New York City saw a marked decline, with the San Francisco Bay area losing 6.7 percent of its home value, according to Redfin.
While the situation is not dire just yet, many economic experts are still bearish on the future of the housing market, with Wharton professor of finance Jeremy Siegal warning Insider in November, “I expect housing prices fall 10% to 15%, and the housing prices are accelerating on the downside.”
“I think we’re gonna have the second-biggest housing price decline since post WWII period over the next 12 months. That’s a very, very significant factor for wealth [and] for equity in the housing market.”
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.
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