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Housing Market Activity Slowed by Fed Rate Hikes

HouseCanary, Inc. recently released its August Market Pulse report, which showed that list prices peaked in June while closed prices continued to achieve positive year-over-year growth despite market activity remaining low from a historical perspective.

Interest rates are now at their highest level in 22 years due to the Federal Reserve’s efforts to combat the 3.3% year-over-year inflation growth recorded in July. Federal Reserve officials and experts are now predicting rates to hike yet again in September, creating more uncertainty in the housing market and overall economy.

Key Findings:

  • For the month of August 2023, 216,619 net new listings were placed on the market, and 256,777 properties went under contract. This represents a decrease of 29.5% and 17.1%, respectively, versus August 2022.
  • The decrease in net new listings was driven by a 27.5% decrease in new listing volume as well as an 18.9% decrease in removals compared to August 2022.
  • Median days on market stood at 37, matching the total from August 2022.
  • The sale-to-list-price ratio stands at 99.3%, which is well above the lowest value observed in January 2023.
  • Price cuts are down 33.9% year-over-year and are down nearly 35.6% from their recent peaks occurring in September and October 2022.
  • Total inventory is down 12.5% from the same period in 2022, and down 10.7% from 2021. Inventory remains very low from a historical perspective.
  • Total single-family rental inventory is up 41.4% from the same period in 2022, and up 161.1% from 2021.

The report found that current homeowners and potential homebuyers continued to distance themselves from the purchase market and redirect their interest toward the rental market, as demonstrated by the continuous year-over-year declines in purchasing market activity and rapidly increasing inventory of single-family rentals.

“In August, the housing market continued to show low net new listings and slow price increases, and with the latest round of rate hikes, these market conditions are only expected to linger," said Jeremy Sicklick, Co-Founder and CEO of HouseCanary. "Single-family rentals remain the most desired choice for potential homebuyers in the current uncertain market environment, as price and inventory increase on a year-over-year basis persist."

Additionally, low market activity has caused net new listing volume to continue lagging behind contract volume, contributing to depressed inventory. Looking ahead to Q3 and beyond, experts predict market activity and inventory to remain low as more rate hikes from the Federal Reserve are projected to be introduced in the upcoming Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meetings.

For the month of August, 216,619 net new listings were placed on the market which represents a 29.5% decrease versus August 2022. Over the last 52 weeks there have been 2,405,285 net new listings placed on the market. This represents a 27.9% decrease compared to last year.

For the month of August there were 256,777 listings that went under contract nationwide which is a 17.1% decrease versus August 2022. Over the last 52 weeks, 2,600,373 properties have gone into contract. This represents a 21.8% decrease compared to last year.

For the week ending August 25th, the median price of all single-family listings in the US was $438,526 and the median closed price was $419,403. On a year-over year basis, the median price of all single-family listings is up 1.2% and the median price of closed listings is up 5.0%. Month-over-month, the median price of single-family listings is down 1.4% and the median price of closed listings is up 0.9%.

"Single-family rental inventory is up 41.4% when compared to August 2022, while inventory in the purchasing market is down 12.5%. As we move into September, we can expect an additional rate hike to be set in the upcoming meeting, continuing the trend of low market activity we have been experiencing over the past year.”

To read the full report, including more data, charts, and methodology, click here.

About Author: Demetria Lester

Demetria C. Lester is a reporter for DS News and MReport magazines with more than eight years of writing experience. She has served as content coordinator and copy editor for the Los Angeles Daily News and the Orange County Register, in addition to 11 other Southern California publications. A former editor-in-chief at Northlake College and staff writer at her alma mater, the University of Texas at Arlington, she has covered events such as the Byron Nelson and Pac-12 Conferences, progressing into her freelance work with the Dallas Wings and D Magazine. Currently located in Dallas, Texas, Lester is an avid jazz lover and likes to read. She can be reached at [email protected].

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