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Limited Options Speeding Up Home Sales

Homebuyers faced the fastest market on record during the four weeks ending February 13, as a record 57% of homes that went under contract sold within two weeks of being listed, according to a new report from Redfin.

Consumers that are purchasing homes are now paying more than ever before, as asking prices jumped 16% year-over-year to a new high. Mortgage rates also climbed to their highest level since May 2019, nearing $2,000. The pace and cost of homebuying are surging partly due to having such limited options. New listings fell 8%, sending overall supply to a record low. This also resulted in a decline in pending sales, which fell 2.7%.

“The acute shortage of new listings of homes for sale is the biggest problem the housing market faces right now,” said Redfin Deputy Chief Economist Taylor Marr. “If you think of the housing market like a bathtub, water (supply of homes for sale) is flowing down the drain (buyers sucking up supply) faster than new water (new listings) is coming in through the faucet. Rising mortgage rates may slow the drain down a bit (cool demand) as record-high monthly payments take a toll on buyers’ budgets. Bottom line: without a flood of new listings, we will be sitting in a very shallow bath for a while.”

Key housing market takeaways for 400+ U.S. metro areas:

  • The median home sale price was up 15% year over year to $354,762. This was up 30% from the same time in 2020.
  • The median asking price of newly listed homes increased 16% year over year to an all-time high of $381,000. This was up 26% from the same time in 2020.
  • The monthly mortgage payment on the median asking price rose to an all-time high of $1,997. This was up 27% from a year earlier when mortgage rates were 2.73%, and was up 31% from the same period in 2020 when rates were 3.47%.
  • Pending home sales were down 2.7% year over year, but were up 35% from the same period in 2020, just prior to the start of the pandemic.
  • Active listings (the number of homes listed for sale at any point during the period) fell 27% year over year, dropping to an all-time low of 447,000. Listings were down 49% from the same period in 2020.
  • 57% of homes that went under contract had an accepted offer within the first two weeks on the market, an all-time high. This was up from the 51% rate of a year earlier and 43% in 2020.
  • 44% of homes that went under contract had an accepted offer within one week of hitting the market, an all-time high. This was up from 38% during the same period a year earlier and 29% in 2020.
  • Homes that sold were on the market for a median of 29 days, down from 38 days a year earlier and 60 days in 2020.
  • 41% of homes sold above list price, up from 33% a year earlier and 19% in 2020.
  • On average, 2.7% of homes for sale each week had a price drop, up 0.4 percentage points from the same time in 2021, but down 0.6 percentage points from 2020.
  • The average sale-to-list price ratio, which measures how close homes are selling to their asking prices, rose to 100.3%. In other words, the average home sold for 0.3% above its asking price.

To view the full report, including charts and methodology, click here.

About Author: Demetria Lester

Demetria C. Lester is a reporter for DS News and MReport, with more than six years of writing experience. She has served as 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, Pac-12 Conferences, the Women in Dallas Film Festival, to freelance work with the Dallas Wings and D Magazine. Currently located in Dallas, Texas, she is an avid jazz lover and reader. She can be reached at demetria.lester@thefivestar.com.
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