Buyers Get an Early Holiday Gift as Rates Come Down and New Listings Rise

Written by Posted On Friday, 08 December 2023 08:45

Prices are falling from a year ago in four Texas metrosAustin, San Antonio, Houston and Fort Worthand in Portland, OR. Redfin predicts price declines will become more widespread in the new year.

Homebuying is becoming more affordable as mortgage rates continue declining—the median U.S. housing payment was $2,561 during the four weeks ending December 3, down $177 from the record high they hit in October. This according to a new report from Redfin (redfin.com), the technology-powered real estate brokerage. That’s spurring action from sidelined homebuyers and sellers.

Mortgage-purchase applications are up 15% from the 28-year low they dropped to at the start of November. New listings are up 7% year over year, the biggest increase since August 2021, and the number of homeowners contacting Redfin for help selling their home is up by double digits from a year ago.

Mortgage rates are coming down because economic events are tilting in the housing market’s favor. This week, a softer-than-expected report on job openings is another piece of evidence on a growing pile that the Fed may cut interest rates sooner than anticipated. The daily average 30-year fixed rate was 7.04% on December 6, down from 8% six weeks earlier and its lowest level since the start of August.

“With the hope of a few more homes coming on the market, buyers who can afford 7% mortgage rates or pay in cash have some bargaining power,” said Phoenix Redfin Premier Van Welborn. “People are taking their time looking at multiple homes, and they’re able to back out if the inspection uncovers problems because they can wait for something better to come on the market. But there isn’t much wiggle room on price: I’m advising buyers to be reasonable with their offers because home values are still relatively high and sellers don’t want to let go of their home for less than what they feel it’s worth.”

Home prices are falling from a year ago in five of the 50 most populous U.S. metros. Redfin predicts prices will start declining in more metros in 2024, though they still have room to grow in inexpensive parts of the country.

Leading indicators

Indicators of homebuying demand and activity

 

Value (if applicable)

Recent change

Year-over-year change

Source

Daily average 30-year fixed mortgage rate

7.04% (Dec. 6)

Down from 7.22% a week earlier; lowest level since beginning of August

Up from 6.33%

Mortgage News Daily

Weekly average 30-year fixed mortgage rate

7.22% (week ending Nov. 30)

Down from two-decade high of 7.79% six weeks earlier

Up from 6.49%

Freddie Mac

Mortgage-purchase applications (seasonally adjusted)

 

Unchanged from a week earlier (as of week ending Dec. 1)

Down 17%

Mortgage Bankers Association

Redfin Homebuyer Demand Index (seasonally adjusted)

 

Up 3% from a month earlier (as of the week ending Dec. 3)

Down 7%

Redfin Homebuyer Demand Index, a measure of requests for tours and other homebuying services from Redfin agents

Google searches for “home for sale”

 

Down 4% from a month earlier (as of Dec. 2)

Down 4%

Google Trends

Touring activity

 

Down 30% from the start of the year (as of Dec.3)

At this time last year, it was down 37% from the start of 2022

ShowingTime, a home touring technology company

Key housing-market data

U.S. highlights: Four weeks ending December 3, 2023

Redfin’s national metrics include data from 400+ U.S. metro areas, and is based on homes listed and/or sold during the period. Weekly housing-market data goes back through 2015. Subject to revision.

 

Four weeks ending December 3, 2023

Year-over-year change

Notes

Median sale price

$364,166

4.1%

Prices are up partly because rapidly rising mortgage rates were hampering prices during this time last year

Median asking price

$371,163

6.7%

Biggest increase since Sept. 2022

Median monthly mortgage payment

$2,561 at a 7.22% mortgage rate

15%

Down $177 from all-time high set during the four weeks ending Oct. 22. Lowest level since August.

Pending sales

59,434

-7.4%

 

New listings

61,465

7.1%

Biggest uptick since August 2021. The increase is partly because new listings were falling at this time last year.

Active listings

853,529

-6.2%

Smallest decline since June

Months of supply

4.1 months

+0.1 pt.

4 to 5 months of supply is considered balanced, with a lower number indicating seller’s market conditions

Share of homes off market in two weeks

31.4%

Up from 28%

 

Median days on market

35

-3 days

 

Share of homes sold above list price

26.7%

Up from 25%

 

Share of homes with a price drop

5.5%

+0.3 pts.

 

Average sale-to-list price ratio

98.7%

+0.4 pts.

 

Metro-level highlights: Four weeks ending December 3, 2023

Redfin’s metro-level data includes the 50 most populous U.S. metros. Select metros may be excluded from time to time to ensure data accuracy.

 

Metros with biggest year-over-year increases

Metros with biggest year-over-year decreases

Notes

Median sale price

Anaheim, CA (18.6%)

Fort Lauderdale, FL (12%)

Newark, NJ (11.4%)

New Brunswick, NJ (10.5%)

San Diego, CA (10.3%)

Austin, TX (-9.6%)

San Antonio, TX (-2.1%)

Houston (-0.9%)

Portland, OR (-0.8%)

Fort Worth, TX (-0.5%)

Declined in 5 metros

Pending sales

San Jose, CA (7.3%)

Austin, TX (2.1%)

Milwaukee (1%)

Fort Worth, TX (0.6%)

Los Angeles (0.4%)

Cleveland, OH (-21.9%)

Cincinnati, OH (-21.8%)

New York (-17.9%)

Providence, RI (-17.4%)

Boston (-16.1%)

Increased in 5 metros

New listings

Orlando, FL (27.6%)

Phoenix (20.7%)

West Palm Beach, FL (16.2%)

Las Vegas (14.8%)

Miami (14.7%)

Cleveland, OH (-17.8%)

Atlanta (-16.1%)

San Francisco (-15%)

Oakland, CA (-7.2%)

Boston (-7.1%)

Declined in 12 metros

To view the full report, including charts, please visit:

https://www.redfin.com/news/housing-market-update-mortgage-rates-decline-listings-increase

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About Redfin
Redfin (www.redfin.com) is a technology-powered real estate broker, instant home-buyer (iBuyer), lender, title insurer, and renovations company. We sell homes for more money and charge half the fee. We also run the country's #1 real-estate brokerage site. Our home-buying customers see homes first with on-demand tours, and our lending and title services help them close quickly. 

https://www.redfin.com

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