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Home Sellers Continue to Cash in on Record Demand

Redfin has reported that national median home sale prices have increased 16% year-over-year to $361,225, the four-week period ending August 22, as the share of home sellers dropping their asking prices each week continues to increase. The study also found that pending sales have declined seasonally, but are still up 10% from a year ago. Overall, homebuying demand remains very strong. The market frenzy of 2021 has cooled somewhat, but home sellers are still very much in the driver's seat in the housing market today.

"Demand for homes is making a comeback because even though home prices are high and competition is still steep, homebuyers don't have many alternatives but to keep trying," said Redfin Chief Economist Daryl Fairweather. "This continued demand for homes is enticing more homeowners to sell in order to avoid the fear of missing out on historically high prices. This enthusiasm from both buyers and sellers is translating into continued growth in pending sales compared to last year."

Asking prices of newly listed homes were up 10% from the same time a year ago to a median of $351,730, the lowest level since mid-April, and down 2.7% from the all-time high set during the four-week period ending June 27.

In terms of inventory, new listings were nearly flat (+1%) from a year earlier. The number of homes being listed is in a typical seasonal decline, down 9% from the 2021 peak during the four-week period ending June 27. Active listings (the number of homes listed for sale at any point during the period) fell 23% from 2020—the smallest decline since the four-week period ending September 20, 2020. Active listings are up 16% since their 2021 low during the four-week period ending March 7, but have declined 1% from their 2021 peak during the four-week period ending August 8.

Redfin reported that 52% of homes sold above list price, up from 32% a year earlier. This measure has been falling since the four-week period ending July 11 when it peaked at 55%.

"The housing market is less hectic than it was in early spring, but it's still far from typical. The move to a less imbalanced market is happening slowly," said Fairweather. "As we approach the beginning of back-to-school season, home prices typically cool, supply winds down, and homes take longer to sell. All that's happening, just very slowly. I don't think the housing market will return to a fully typical state anytime soon, but we are starting to trend in that direction."

July marked 12 consecutive months of double-digit home price gains, which is significant because a year ago, the housing market was already in a strong growth phase, after pausing briefly at the onset of the pandemic.

Redfin found that 49% of homes that went under contract had an accepted offer within the first two weeks on the market, above the 44% rate during the same period a year ago, but down eight percentage points from the 2021 peak, set during the four-week period ending March 28.

In terms of speed, 35% of homes that went under contract had an accepted offer within one week of hitting the market, up from 32% during the same period a year earlier, but down eight percentage points from the 2021 peak during the four-week period ending March 28. Homes that sold were on the market for a median of 18 days, up from the all-time low of 15 days seen in late June and July, and down from 34 days a year earlier.

Click here for more on Redfin’s latest report.

About Author: Eric C. Peck

Eric C. Peck has 20-plus years’ experience covering the mortgage industry, he most recently served as Editor-in-Chief for The Mortgage Press and National Mortgage Professional Magazine. Peck graduated from the New York Institute of Technology where he received his B.A. in Communication Arts/Media. After graduating, he began his professional career with Videography Magazine before landing in the mortgage space. Peck has edited three published books and has served as Copy Editor for Entrepreneur.com.
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