MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — The National Realtors Association reported that home sales have decreased in 2022. The lowest it’s been in the past decade. Many factors have come into play such as inflation and interest rates.

Realtor Sam Winter of Sam Winter and Co. Real Estate said Mobile and Baldwin Counties have sold 1,000 fewer homes each in 2022 compared to 2021. He explains the decrease can be attributed to inflation.

“Interest rates did increase because they had gotten down to the low twos over the last two years,” said Winter. “And so they did get back up to around, 7%, which then was due to the fact of inflation, the Feds trying to slow the inflation rate down.”

Another factor that caused 2022 to have fewer home sales were due to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. Winter explains during COVID-19, many buyers were refinancing their homes due to the low interest rates warranting people to stay in their homes longer.

“Interest rates did get so low that so many people did refinance their homes, and maybe cut their 30 year mortgage down to maybe a 15 year mortgage, or a 10 year mortgage,” said Winter. “And so people that do the refinancing during that last two years may have decided to stay put for a longer period of time. And then also, you had a lot of people that did take advantage of the interest rates and go out and start purchasing a new home.”

A University of South Alabama study shows the median prices of homes in Mobile and Baldwin Counties as of 2022. The median price for a single-family home in Mobile County is $156,000 compared to $325,000 in Baldwin County.

The prices of homes have since increased, and Winter predicts the trends will go back to pre-pandemic as 2023 continues.

“We’re going back to the markets going back to more of a normal pace,” said Winter. “We’re in 2018, 2019, which was still a good real estate market. It’s just a slower pace.”