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High mortgage rates are driving a housing market slowdown and leading to reduced home sales and a dwindling supply of available listings. Many sellers are reluctant to give up their low mortgage rates secured during the pandemic, exacerbating the inventory shortage, driving up home prices, and leading to bidding wars, Realtor.com reports.

While there is a slight increase in homes available in August, the fall season typically sees less competition. However, experts predict a challenging and limited housing market this fall, with affordability and mortgage rates remaining key concerns.

The housing market “is weak and it’s going nowhere fast,” says Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics. “I don’t think it’s going to get any better. But I don’t think it’s going to get any worse—because it can’t get any worse.”

It’s not all bleak. There were slightly more homes that made their way onto Realtor.com in August. New-home sales have been strong. Plus, there is historically less competition for homes in the fall. Families with children in school have generally already moved, and many renters have renewed their leases.

“Fall does present this opportunity to buyers every year,” says Realtor.com Chief Economist Danielle Hale. “I wouldn’t say inventory is back, but it’s a step in the right direction.”

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