YOUNGSTOWN, OHIO (WKBN) – Homes sales slowed nationally for the sixth consecutive month, but it looks as though the Valley isn’t experiencing the hit.

The National Association of Realtors said Thursday that existing home sales fell 5.9% last month in the U.S. from June to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.81 million. That’s lower than what economists were expecting, according to FactSet.

Locally, sales were up 3.9% in Mahoning County with 293 sales versus 282 a year ago. The price of houses is up, too, by about 2%. with total sales at $52.7 million vs $51.6 million last July.

The downturn nationally is being blamed on high mortgage rates, inflation and rising prices. Sales fell 20.2% from July last year. Sales have now fallen to the slowest pace since May 2020, near the start of the pandemic.

The last time there was a six-month losing streak for home sales was between August 2013 and January 2014.

The slowdown in sales was most pronounced in the Western part of the country, home to some of the nation’s most expensive housing markets. Sales in the region slumped 30% last month from a year ago, NAR said.

Even as the housing market is losing steam, home prices have continued to rise sharply. The national median home price jumped 10.8% in July from a year earlier to $403,800. That’s a slower rate of growth than earlier this year, when prices were climbing annually by around 20%.

The July sales report is the late evidence that the housing market, a key driver of economic growth, is slowing from its torrid pace in recent years as homebuyers grapple with sharply higher mortgage rates than a year ago.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.