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Residential real estate sales fall as mortgage rates rise

People in Delaware may be closely following trends in the residential real estate market as they look to purchase a home or relocate by selling their home and searching for a new residence. Across the United States, mortgage rates are rising, and it appears that fewer people are selling their homes. In January 2018, pending home sales, a measure of signed contracts, went down 4.7 percent in comparison with the previous month, December 2017.

In fact, the residential real estate numbers that had already been projected for December were revised down following confirmation. The National Association of Realtors, or NAR, tracks trends in the American housing market. While the economy in general is doing well, the NAR said, housing supply on the market is limited and mortgage rates are rising, leading to fewer people deciding to purchase homes at this time. In addition, they said, the effect of these issues is felt most strongly in the lower or entry level of the housing market.

Mortgage rates have been rising consistently since January, and the NAR said they were nearly half a percentage point higher. This combines with the fact that the number of homes listed on the market is down by 9.5 percent in comparison with one year prior. Many potential buyers are choosing to follow the mortgage rates and wait to home search in earnest until more homes are available on the market.

People who are considering buying and selling a home can run into unexpected legal pitfalls and concerns. Given the tightness of the residential real estate market, clear contracting and agreements are critically important. A real estate attorney may be able to work with home sellers and buyers to ensure that their interests are protected in real estate transactions.

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