U.S. housing prices fall for 1st time since 2012, but monthly sales rise after 12-month slide

Home prices fall as sales rise
(Image credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

The median price for U.S. existing homes fell 0.2 percent in February from a year earlier, to $363,000, the National Association of Realtors said Tuesday, marking the first year-over-year decline in home prices since February 2021. February's prices were down 12.3 percent from a record high in June, but that doesn't necessarily mean a break for prospective homebuyers because mortgage rates have risen at the same time in tandem with the Federal Reserve's inflation-fighting interest rate hikes.

"Many economists expect home prices to keep falling this spring," The Wall Street Journal reports. "But home-buying affordability is likely to remain worse than it was a year ago, because prices would have to drop significantly to fully offset the increase in mortgage rates. The inventory of homes for sale remains below normal levels, which could prevent steep price declines."

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