The prices of homes are beginning to decline as recent economic data shows that home sales are generally weakening across the country (despite a slight rise in today’s data, most likely due to a short-term relief in mortgage rates last month). That would be good news, a glimmer of hope that one segment of the inflating economy is easing. But it’s only a fraction of the picture, and where home prices may ease, inflation and rate hikes, combined, cast potential homebuyers further away from the American dream of homeownership. In the first quarter of 2022, mortgage rates jumped 2%. Although a single-digit number, it amounts to a double-digit increase in home prices—27% to be exact. In addition to this, down payments and other qualifications for a home loan have also skyrocketed. Millions of Americans are being pushed out of the housing market. A dream deferred, so it seems, especially for first-time buyers. And there doesn’t seem to be a sign that the current economic environment is ending anytime soon.