Housing market headlines have been looking pretty bleak lately.

Industry groups have reported a “slump” in sales nationwide, less competition among buyers and the highest rate of sales cancellations in the United States since the start of the pandemic.

“Builder Confidence Plunges as Affordability Concerns Rise,” National Association of Home Builders declared last month.

All of this comes as higher interest rates make buying a home all the more expensive after a year of huge price hikes in Southern Nevada and across the country. Last week, however, the pressure eased a bit.

The average rate on a 30-year mortgage was 4.99% on Thursday, down from 5.3% the previous week, mortgage buyer Freddie Mac reported.

It was the first time since April that rates fell below 5%, but only just.

Of course, interest rates are still higher than last year’s lows, and this week’s drop doesn’t mean the mortgage market is about to reverse course and return again. super cheap silver available to homebuyers.

But home sales have been falling in Las Vegas and across the United States lately, and if borrowing costs continue to fall, that could trigger more buying activity.

For now, sellers shouldn’t be too excited. Freddie Mac Chief Economist Sam Khater said in a press release this week that rates are likely to “remain floating” due to uncertainty surrounding inflation and other factors.

In Southern Nevada, the housing market has by no means come to a screeching halt amid rising rates this year, but it has slowed.

On the resale side, buyers bought about 2,670 single-family homes in June, down 8% from May and nearly 25% from June 2021, the Las Vegas Realtors trade association reported.

The median sale price in June was $480,000, down 0.4% from May, the first month-over-month decline in more than two years.

Just over 27% of pending sales in the Las Vegas area failed in June, the highest cancellation rate in the country, according to real estate broker Redfin.

Additionally, about 20% of listings in Southern Nevada saw a price drop in June, the fourth-highest share in the United States, listing site Zillow reported.

On the construction side, builders in Southern Nevada recorded 713 net sales — new purchase contracts less cancellations — in June, down nearly 24% from the same month last year, figures show. of Las Vegas-based Home Builders Research.

June’s sales tally was the lowest of the year and marked the third straight monthly decline, the company reported.

Fueled by record mortgage rates that allow buyers to stretch their budgets, the Southern Nevada housing market hit its most frenetic pace in years in 2021. Sales prices hit new all-time highs virtually every months, buyers flooded homes with offers, and homebuilders put buyers on waiting lists and, in some cases, drew names to see who could buy a spot.

Anyone can guess what the market will look like in the coming months. Remember that soon after the coronavirus outbreak devastated the economy and turned our lives upside down, people embarked on what eventually became a protracted home buying spree.

Who expected that?

Contact Eli Segall at [email protected] or 702-383-0342. Follow @eli_segall on Twitter.