YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – U.S. home sales slumped 34% in December, continuing an 11-month drop.

Home sales were down 18% for the year, the weakest year since 2014.

Mahoning County home sales slipped 30% in December but closed down 6% for the year, much better than the national average. The average home price was $175,000, 5% higher for the year.

Columbiana County home sales were down 24% in December and dropped 13% for the year.
Good news again on the average sales price, it was $175,000, which was a 9% improvement over the year.

Trumbull County home sales slid 24% in December and were 7% lower for the year. Sellers got $159,000 on average, which was 6% higher compared to the previous year.

Mortgage rates more than doubled in 2022, climbing to a two-decade high of 7.08% in the fall, limiting buying power. As rates rise, they can add hundreds of dollars to monthly mortgage payments.

In 2022, first-time buyers accounted for only 26% of all home sales, according to the National Association of Realtors.

The average rate on a 30-year mortgage rate fell this week to 6.15%, its lowest level since September, according to mortgage buyer Freddie Mac. Still, it remains nearly double the 3.56% average rate a year ago.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.