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What is Preventing Homeowners from Selling?

Many market analysts comparing year-over-year metrics are looking at data from both 2020 and 2019 because, at this time last year, pandemic stay-at-home restrictions thwarted homebuying and selling, which makes some comparisons unreliable.

No matter what numbers you are considering, homes right now are selling at their fastest pace on record, with about half sold within a week after listing, according to the latest statistics from Redfin. 

Compared to 2020 the median home price increased 18% to $344,625, and asking prices reached $356,175, both all-time highs for those metrics, Redfin reported. Another record, of homes sold in the yearlong period ending April 18, 2021, 45% sold at over the asking price. They were on the market an average of 21 days, the briefest since 2012 and 16 days fewer than in 2020.

Compared with 2019, pending home sales were up 23% from the same period. New listings of homes for sale were down 10% from the same period in 2019. Active listings dipped 47% from the same period to a new all-time low.

“There has been an ongoing debate at Redfin about whether fear of coronavirus infection was keeping homeowners from selling. With a third of American adults now fully vaccinated and still hardly any homes being listed for sale, we’re close to settling that debate,” said Redfin Chief Economist Daryl Fairweather. “Homeowners are staying put because if they move and buy another home they will face a very competitive housing market as buyers, and they don’t need to sell to take advantage of record-low mortgage rates. They can just refinance their current home. On top of that, builders are struggling to construct new homes given an ongoing lumber shortage. Without more homeowners listing, buyers are scrambling to compete for the limited number of homes on the market, which continues to drive prices up to new heights.”

The full housing market report from Redfin's data team is available at Redfin.com.

About Author: Christina Hughes Babb

Christina Hughes Babb is a reporter for DS News and MReport. A graduate of Southern Methodist University, she has been a reporter, editor, and publisher in the Dallas area for more than 15 years. During her 10 years at Advocate Media and Dallas Magazine, she published thousands of articles covering local politics, real estate, development, crime, the arts, entertainment, and human interest, among other topics. She has won two national Mayborn School of Journalism Ten Spurs awards for nonfiction, and has penned pieces for Texas Monthly, Salon.com, Dallas Observer, Edible, and the Dallas Morning News, among others.
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