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Are Home Sellers Starting To Cut Prices?

The housing market has an inventory problem. The lower-than-normal number of homes for sale has prices rising and home buyers frustrated. But while year-over-year numbers show fewer homes on the market and prices higher than last year, monthly data tells a different story. In fact, it shows some short-term improvement. For example, according to newly released numbers from the National Association of Realtors' consumer website, inventory increased in September from the month before, rising nearly 5 percent. That's a significant bump, and at a time of year when the housing market typically begins to slow down. Additionally, the analysis found a rising number of homes saw price reductions during the month. The increase in price cuts – also unusual for the season – is an encouraging sign for fall buyers. Danielle Hale, the website's chief economist, says it's a break for buyers but challenges remain. “An uptick in homes with reduced prices is a small break for buyers on top of the usual seasonal factors that align to make [the] first week in October the best week to buy,” Hale said. “Yet, the larger context remains challenging. Buyers still struggle with the triple threat of rising listing prices, record-high mortgage rates, and limited inventory, making affordability a continued concern.”

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