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Existing home sales were in retreat last month, according to new data from the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

During July, completed transactions were down 2.2% from June to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.07 million. On a year-over-year measurement, sales dropped 16.6% from 4.88 million in July 2022.

The median existing-home price for all housing types in July was $406,700, an increase of 1.9% from the $399,000 one year earlier. Prices increased in the Northeast, Midwest and South but remained unchanged in the West. First-time buyers were responsible for 30% of sales in July while all-cash sales accounted for 26% of transactions and individual investors or second-home buyers purchased 16% of homes.

The total housing inventory at the end of July was 1.11 million units, up 3.7% from June but down 14.6% from the 1.3 million recorded one year ago. The unsold inventory was at a 3.3-month supply at the current sales pace, up from 3.1 months in June and 3.2 months in July 2022.

“Two factors are driving current sales activity – inventory availability and mortgage rates,” said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. “Unfortunately, both have been unfavorable to buyers. Most homeowners continue to enjoy large wealth gains from recent years with little concern about home price declines. However, many renters are concerned as they’re facing growing affordability challenges because of high interest rates.”