Sales of New Houses Sag, Inventory Piles Up to Highest since 2008, as Mortgage Rates Spike. Homebuilder Costs Explode amid Shortages of All Kinds | Wolf Street

The inventory of new single-family houses for sale rose to 407,000 houses in March (seasonally adjusted), the largest unsold inventory since August 2008, up by 52% from a year ago. This amounts to 6.4 months of supply at the current rate of sales.

Homebuyers faced a historic spike in mortgage rates, on top of the historic spike in prices, a toxic mix that made purchases increasingly difficult or impossible for many buyers, and took them out of the market.

The average 30-year fixed mortgage rate jumped from 4.1% at the beginning of March to 4.8% at the end of the month, up by 1.5 percentage points a year earlier, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. Since then, mortgage rates have pierced the 5% level:

The upward shift in price is a result of price increases and the shift by builders to go where the money is. And this caused the median price in March to jump by 21% year-over-year to $436,700. The median price means that half the homes sold were priced at over $436,700.

Sales of New Houses Sag, Inventory Piles Up to Highest since 2008, as Mortgage Rates Spike. Homebuilder Costs Explode amid Shortages of All Kinds | Wolf Street