Sharply higher mortgage rates have caused a sudden pullback in home sales, and now sellers are rushing to get in before the red-hot market cools off dramatically. "Rising mortgage rates have caused the housing market to shift, and now home sellers are in a hurry to find a buyer before demand weakens further," said Redfin Chief Economist Daryl Fairweather.
Sellers clearly see the market softening. Pending home sales were down just over 9% from April 2021, according to the National Association of Realtors. May 2022 will see a larger decrease. This index measures signed contracts on existing homes, not closings, so it is perhaps the most timely indicator of how buyers are reacting to higher mortgage rates. It marks the sixth straight month of sales declines and the slowest pace in nearly a decade.