America’s housing market is getting hammered, and that seems like it should chill the boom in home renovation. But, even though spending seems sure to slow, there is reason to think it might not buckle.
The rapid ascent in mortgage rates has turned the switch on housing from hot to cold. The number of previously owned, or existing, homes sold last month was down a seasonally adjusted 24% from a year earlier, according to the National Association of Realtors. With Freddie Mac this week reporting that the average rate on a 30-year mortgage reached 7.08%—the highest since 2002—the strains on housing affordability are only becoming more severe.
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