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According to data released Tuesday, new home sales unexpectedly fell far more than economists had predicted – and for the fourth straight month – in April, indicating that the once booming housing market could be due for a sharp turnaround. Is.

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About 591,000 new single-family homes were sold last month on a seasonally adjusted annual basis, falling 16.6% from the March rate of 709,000 and well below analyst estimates of 750,000, according to the Census Department. informed of on Tuesday.

“In short, the party is over,” Ian Shepherdson, chief economist at Pantheon Macro, said in comments emailed after the report, pointing to the decline in sales as a “sharp downward trend in mortgage applications.” Mortgage rates begin to rise on the heels. The Federal Reserve raised interest rates in March.

]Monthly payments required to buy a home have risen nearly 50% since September, with rates rising by about two-thirds, Shepherdson says; average The 30-year fixed rate mortgage has risen to 5.25% this month, from 3% just a year ago.

Despite declining sales, average prices hit a new all-time high of more than $450,000 — reflecting price pressures eroding housing demand, softening the downside, said Jeffrey Roach, chief economist at LPL Financial, in a note on Tuesday. The warning of the housing market will continue. Overall economic growth in this quarter.

The data comes less than a week after the Department of Commerce informed of The annual number of housing permits fell to a five-month low of 1.8 million in April, Shepherdson says, while housing began at a worse-than-expected rate of 1.7 million – marking a sharp drop in the coming months.

One possible bright spot: Comerica Bank’s Bill Adams says prices should start to fall, as Comerica Bank’s Bill Adams forecasts roughly 20% of price increases should drop to the low single digits by the end of next year.