Biden announces more student loan debt forgiveness; Home sales in 2023 lowest in 28 years

Analysis by WorldTribune Staff, January 21, 2024

As soon as the Biden ship attempted to plug one leak, another one was sprung.

Team Biden sought to bring back voters who are abandoning Old Joe in droves by offering more student loan forgiveness. But of Friday, the news broke that the Biden economy has also made it much more difficult for Americans to buy a home.

The national median existing-home price rose 4.4% in December from a year earlier to $382,600.

The White House announced Friday that it was forgiving almost $5 billion for some 73,600 student loan borrowers.

About 44,000 of those borrowers who were targeted for student debt relief are teachers, nurses, firefighters, and other individuals who have been on the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program for 10 years.

The other almost 30,000 borrowers have been on an income-driven repayment program for 20 years.

The Supreme Court ruled in June of last year ruled that Team Biden’s universal student loan forgiveness program was illegal. The administration said it has since been working on another plan for mass loan forgiveness, although the new path will not reach as many borrowers as the previous one.

Meanwhile, sales of previously owned homes in 2023 dropped to the lowest level in 28 years.

Existing home sales, which make up most of the housing market, slid 19% in 2023 from the prior year to 4.09 million, the lowest full-year level since 1995, the National Association of Realtors reported on Friday.

December sales fell 6.2% from a year earlier.

The housing market skidded to a halt under Bidenomics in mid-2022. The Federal Reserve’s raising its benchmark interest rate pushed mortgage rates higher and spooked buyers, industry insiders say.

In 2023, high mortgage rates and high home prices continued to make home purchases prohibitively expensive for many prospective buyers. Average mortgage rates hovered between 6% and 8% all year, according to Freddie Mac

Many homeowners with low mortgage rates are choosing to stay put because it would be too expensive to buy another house at a higher interest rate.

The national median existing-home price rose 4.4% in December from a year earlier to $382,600, NAR said.

Nationally, there were one million homes for sale or under contract at the end of December, down 11.5% from November and up 4.2% from December 2022, NAR said. At the current sales pace, there was a 3.2-month supply of homes on the market at the end of December.

“Even for folks that could continue to afford at higher rates, this drop in available inventory prevented them from participating in the housing market” in 2023, said Selma Hepp, chief economist at CoreLogic.

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