Home prices and year-over-year price gains hit another high as prices continued to rise during a time of year that they usually decline, according to a new report from Redfin (www.redfin.com), the technology-powered real estate brokerage. Pending home sales are also way up from 2019. The fact that the market is so steady continues to be a surprising sign of strength during a time of major economic uncertainty.
For the week ending August 16, the seasonally adjusted Redfin Homebuyer Demand Index was up 29% from pre-pandemic levels in January and February. Prices are still showing no signs of the typical seasonal slowdown. The median price of homes that sold during the four-week period ending August 16 was up 11% year over year—the largest increase in over six years—to a new all-time high of $316,375. In the last week of the period, prices were up 14% from a year earlier.
“Some of the homebuyers I’ve worked with have come into the process thinking that thanks to low interest rates and the pandemic they’ll be able to get a deal,” said Rhode Island Redfin agent Lisa Bernardeau. “Unfortunately I have to burst their bubble and explain that it’s actually the opposite—home prices are up 10 to 20 percent from last year, depending on the neighborhood.”
Pending home sales up from last year, begin typical seasonal slowdown
Pending home sales for the four-week period were still very strong compared to 2019—up 15%. During just the last week of the period pending sales did increase 0.6% from the prior week, but in contrast to ever-increasing home prices, they are showing signs of a more typical seasonal decline, having decreased 8% overall since peaking during the week ending July 19.
“Schools are beginning to start again, and it seems like that has slowed the amount of homebuyer activity a little bit, but that doesn’t make the market less crazy,” said Oakland, CA area Redfin agent Veronica Clyatt. “Instead of 20 offers on a home, you may ‘just’ see 10. But prices have not gone down—home price increases haven’t slowed at all.”
Where are the sellers?
What keeps pushing prices higher? Primarily it’s a lack of homes for sale in the face of an onslaught of homebuyer demand. The number of homes actively listed for sale during the period was down 28% from a year ago. The number of new listings did increase slightly, up 2.2% for the four-week period ending August 16. This is the largest year-over-year increase since mid-March, but compared to the 15% increase in pending sales, it’s not enough to reduce the pressure on prices.
Successful homebuyers are moving fast and making high offers
Of homes that went under contract during the four weeks ending August 16, 46.5% found a buyer within two weeks of hitting the market—a slight uptick from the four-week period ending August 9, and the highest level Redfin has seen since at least 2012 (as far back as Redfin’s data is available). During the same period last year, 32.8% of homes found a buyer within two weeks.
“Homes that are in good condition and priced well are selling very fast right now,” said Spokane, WA Redfin agent Brynn Rea. “Almost all of my listings have gone under contract within a week, receiving multiple offers well above list price. When I work with homebuyers I have to help them understand that to win an offer in this market, you often have to go way over the list price. Ideally you also have a larger down payment than just 20%, anything extra you can do to help the sellers consider your offer even more.”
The average sale-to-list price ratio increased to a new record high of 99.1%—meaning homes are selling closer than ever to their list price—up from 98.4% during the same period last year. Finding a “deal” on a home is harder than ever.
To view the full report, including charts, methodology and outlook, please visit: https://www.redfin.com/blog/record-breaking-housing-market-continues/
Redfin (www.redfin.com) is a technology-powered residential real estate company, redefining real estate in the consumer’s favor in a commission-driven industry. We do this by integrating every step of the home buying and selling process and pairing our own agents with our own technology, creating a service that is faster, better and costs less. We offer brokerage, iBuying, mortgage, and title services, and we also run the country’s #1 real estate brokerage search site, offering a host of online tools to consumers, including the Redfin Estimate. We represent people buying and selling homes in over 90 markets in the United States and Canada. Since our launch in 2006, we have saved our customers over $800 million and we’ve helped them buy or sell more than 235,000 homes worth more than $115 billion.
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