(CNN) — The real estate market took a downward turn in 2022, as rising interest rates rapidly slowed the frenzied activity seen the year before — but home prices still hit a record high.
The median home sales price in 2022 was $386,300, up 10.2% from 2021, and the highest on record going back to 1999, according to data from the National Association of Realtors released Friday.
Home sales had their weakest year since 2014, with 5.03 million homes sold, down 17.8% from the year before.
Sales of existing homes — which include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops — declined for the 11th month in a row in December, even as surging mortgage rates that were over 7% in November came down slightly. Buyers were kept out of the market by stubbornly high prices and rates still double what they were the year before.
In December, sales dropped 1.5% from November and were down 34% from a year ago. All regions of the country saw year-over-year declines in sales, and three regions saw month-to-month drops, while the West was unchanged.
But prices kept rising in December, with a median price of $366,900, up 2.3% from a year ago. The price increase marks more than a decade of year-over-year monthly gains.
“December was another difficult month for buyers, who continue to face limited inventory and high mortgage rates,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. “However, expect sales to pick up again soon, since mortgage rates have markedly declined after peaking late last year.”
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