US Housing Market: Soaring Prices, Declining Demand

US Housing Market: Soaring Prices, Declining Demand

Luisa Vasquez
3 min read

US Housing Market: A Paradox of Supply and Demand

The US housing market is witnessing a paradoxical scenario as supply increases and demand decreases, yet prices soar to unprecedented levels. In May, existing home sales plummeted to a four-month low, dropping 2.8% year-over-year to 4.11 million units, while the supply of homes surged by 18.5% during the same period. Surprisingly, the median home price rose by 5.8% to a record $419,300 in May. Economist David Rosenberg describes this as a perplexing situation, as the fundamental principles of supply and demand seem to be defying expectations.

One of the significant factors impacting the market is the current mortgage rates, which stand at approximately 7%, effectively locking out potential buyers and discouraging sellers from listing their properties due to higher refinance costs. Consequently, this has led to a partial freeze in certain segments of the housing market. Nevertheless, regional discrepancies are evident, with Texas and Florida experiencing price declines despite an increase in supply.

Market dynamics indicate that this anomaly may not persist indefinitely.

Key Takeaways

  • The US housing market is defying conventional supply and demand norms as prices reach record highs.
  • Existing home sales have declined by 2.8% YoY in May, marking a four-month low.
  • The median home price surged by 5.8% YoY to $419,300 in May.
  • Mortgage rates, currently at 7%, are causing a deadlock in the housing market by locking out potential buyers.
  • Experts anticipate a housing market correction once the Federal Reserve cuts interest rates.


The anomaly in the US housing market characterized by soaring prices amidst declining demand and increasing supply is primarily attributed to high mortgage rates, which are dissuading both buyers and sellers. This imbalance disproportionately affects first-time buyers and specific regional markets like Texas and Florida, where prices are on a downward trend due to a surplus in supply. In the short term, the market appears stagnant, but the long-term landscape is contingent on the actions of the Federal Reserve; a rate cut could stimulate demand and escalate prices, while sustained high rates may trigger a market correction. Key stakeholders, including homebuilders and mortgage lenders, face potential losses if rates remain high, but may stand to gain if a rate cut materializes.

Did You Know?

  • Mortgage Rates at 7%:
    • Explanation: High mortgage rates, exemplified by the 7% figure, significantly escalate the borrowing costs for home purchases. This can deter potential buyers due to increased monthly payments, consequently diminishing demand in the housing market. Sellers might also refrain from listing their homes if they envision challenges in selling due to these elevated borrowing costs, resulting in a stagnant market.
  • Federal Reserve's Interest Rate Cuts:
    • Explanation: The Federal Reserve's decision to reduce interest rates can exert a profound impact on the housing market. Lower interest rates generally translate to cheaper borrowing, which can incentivize the demand for mortgages and consequently bolster the housing market. This is particularly pertinent if the Fed's rate cuts are expected to reduce mortgage rates, potentially instigating heightened home buying activity and elevated home prices.
  • Market Strategist Chris Vermeulen's Prediction of a Market Collapse:
    • Explanation: Chris Vermeulen's projection of a significant market collapse in the housing sector is rooted in a stagnation in home builder activity. This implies that if the construction of new homes becomes stagnant, it could lead to a substantial downturn in the housing market. A dearth of new supply, coupled with prevailing market pressures, could exacerbate issues such as high prices and low sales, potentially culminating in a market correction or collapse.

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