Analyzing the Shifting Landscape of the U.S. Housing Market: Home Sales Slump, Mortgage Demand Drops, and Portal Competition Heats Up

In the ever-evolving realm of real estate, the U.S. housing market is currently a hotbed of activity, intrigue, and transformation. As we delve into the headlines of 2023, it becomes apparent that this year has presented a unique set of challenges and opportunities for both homebuyers and industry players alike.

  1. US Home Sales Fall for 8th Month in a Row in September:
    • In September, sales of existing homes in the United States, including single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums, and co-ops, experienced a significant decline.
    • These sales were down by a substantial 23.8% when compared to the same month in the previous year.
    • Additionally, there was a smaller decrease of 1.5% in sales from August to September of the same year.
    • These statistics were reported by the National Association of Realtors.
    • The continuous decline in home sales marked the longest housing sales slump since October 2007, a period associated with the subprime mortgage collapse, which had a significant impact on the U.S. housing market.
  2. ‘Game-On Again’ for Home Search Portals:
    • Former Zillow CEO Spencer Rascoff has noted a renewed competition in the field of home search portals.
    • is identified as a challenger in this competition, seeking to gain consumer market share and attract real estate agents.
    • is positioning itself as an alternative to other portals, emphasizing its “ethical” business model, which may differentiate it from competitors.
    • This renewed competition suggests that the online real estate marketplace is evolving and becoming more competitive.
  3. US Mortgage Demand Drops to 27-Year Low:
    • Mortgage demand in the United States experienced a significant decline in September.
    • This drop in demand is attributed to a decrease in interest rates.
    • Data from the Mortgage Bankers Association reveals that their seasonally adjusted index of mortgage application activity fell by 11.9%.
    • This decline brought mortgage application activity to its lowest level since December 1996.
    • Lower interest rates can impact the demand for mortgages, as borrowers often seek mortgages when rates are favorable for purchasing or refinancing homes.

These news items collectively reflect challenges and changes in the U.S. housing and real estate market, with significant declines in home sales and mortgage demand, as well as increased competition among online home search portals. The context of these developments suggests various factors at play, such as economic conditions and shifts in consumer preferences.


  1. Bahney, A. (2022, October 20). US home sales fall for 8th month in a row in September, the longest slump since 2007. CNN Business1
  2. Real Estate News. (2023, September 8). It’s ‘game-on again’ for home search portals, says ex-Zillow CEO2
  3. National Association of Realtors. (n.d.). Research and Statistics3

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