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Home prices can’t keep going up forever. Can they?

During the COVID-19 contagion, Americans proved willing to pay a premium for homes — so much so that home prices shattered all records. Spurred by historically low mortgage rates, lack of inventory and a pandemic-inspired nesting instinct, buyers keep bidding up home prices.

The median price of an existing home has topped $350,000 for the first time. The median price of new homes just eclipsed $400,000. This boom is a boon for sellers and a challenge for buyers, who increasingly must stretch their housing budgets.