The Median Home Sale Closed at a Record-High $386,000 Last Year

Rising mortgage rates may have tempered the housing market in the last half of 2022, but home prices hit record highs for the year as a whole.

The median home sale price in the United States reached an all-time high of $386,300 last year, according to data released Friday by the trade association National Association of Realtors (NAR). That’s an increase of more than 10% from 2021’s median of $346,900.

What the research says

The NAR report shows that home prices are up at the same time that the number of houses sold has declined sharply.

  • Since 2019, the year leading up to the pandemic’s home-buying frenzy, to the end of 2022, median home sale prices have increased a whopping 42%.
  • The number of houses sold in the U.S. in 2022 dropped to about 5 million, the fewest recorded since 2014 and a 17.8% decline from 2021. The last time annual sales dropped by that much was during the 2008 housing crisis.
  • Sellers still closed 2022 out strong despite receding home sales. The median home sale price increased 2.3% from November to $366,900 for the month of December — even though the number of houses sold declined 34% compared to December of 2021.

What it means for buyers

  • NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said NAR expects sales to pick up again soon now that mortgage rates are coming down. He added that 2022 was a “transition” year, and the playing field will likely even out a little going forward.
  • A recent report from real estate marketplace Zillow found that the majority of homes sold below list price in November, potentially signaling a power shift favoring buyers in the new year.

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