The housing slowdown we've been anticipating for months is here.

The big picture: Home sales are slowing down, and some of the pandemic era's hottest "Zoomtowns" — sleepy areas where remote workers pushed up real-estate prices — are already seeing price drops.

Why it matters: The idea of a real estate downturn might seem scary, especially if you lived through the last one.

But with home prices at record highs, this was a market overdue for cooling off.

What's happening: "Activity in the housing sector has weakened," is how Fed Chair Jerome Powell put it Wednesday, at a press conference announcing another 0.75 percentage point rate hike.

Contract signings for home purchases, or deals signed but not yet closed, fell 8.6% in June from a month ago, the National Association of Realtors reported yesterday. That was well above what economists were predicting, and a 20% drop from last year.

It was also the slowest pace since September 2011 — except for the first two months of the pandemic, notes CNBC.

Meanwhile, mortgage applications are at their lowest level of activity since February 2000.
Source: Axios
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