U.S. Home Prices Hit Another Record High, But Mortgage Rates Are Starting to Decline—Which Could Give Buyers Relief

Written by Posted On Thursday, 13 June 2024 06:04

Daily average mortgage rates dropped to their lowest level in three months on Wednesday, after the May CPI report showed that inflation is continuing to cool. That could bring back some demand; for now, home sales are still declining.

The median U.S. home-sale price hit an all-time high of $394,000 during the four weeks ending June 9, up 4.4% year over year—the biggest increase in about three months. That’s according to a new report from Redfin (redfin.com), the technology-powered real estate brokerage.

There are signs that home-price growth could ease soon. Asking prices have leveled off, and 6.5% of home sellers are cutting their asking price, on average, the highest share since November 2022. Prices are already declining in four U.S. metros: Austin, TX, Fort Worth, TX, San Antonio, TX and Portland, OR.

Meanwhile, the typical homebuyer’s monthly housing payment dipped to $2,829, which is $30 below April’s record high. Median housing payments have fallen slightly since April despite record sale prices because weekly average mortgage rates have declined to 6.99%.

Mortgage rates are likely to decline further over the summer, which would keep monthly housing costs from spiraling up again. Daily average mortgage rates dropped to their lowest level in three months on June 12 after the latest CPI report showed that inflation is continuing to cool. And although the Fed forecast just one interest-rate cut this year at its June 12 meeting, it’s possible the Fed wasn’t able to fully consider the fresh inflation data in time for the meeting; they may revise their projection at the next meeting. (It’s worth noting that daily rates have been volatile for the last several days; they soared after last Friday’s hot jobs report before dropping back down.)

“The latest inflation report is good for homebuyers because it has already sent mortgage rates down, though this week’s Fed meeting will temper mortgage-rate declines,” said Chen Zhao, Redfin’s economic research lead. “But on the other side of the coin, if lower mortgage rates bring back more demand than supply, that could erase the possibility that home-price growth softens, and push prices up even further. Lower rates and higher prices may ultimately cancel each other out when it comes to homebuyers’ monthly payments.”

For now, high costs are keeping some prospective homebuyers on the sidelines. Pending home sales are down 3.5% year over year, the biggest decline in three months, and Redfin’s Homebuyer Demand Index—a measure of requests for tours and other buying services from Redfin agents—is down 18%, sitting at its lowest level since February. But there is one encouraging sign for demand: Mortgage-purchase applications are up 9% week over week. On the selling side, new listings are up 7.8% year over year, but they’re below typical springtime levels, which is why home prices keep rising despite tepid demand.

For more on Redfin economists’ takes on the housing market, please visit Redfin’s “From Our Economists” page.

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

6.98% (June 12)

Up from 7.03% a week earlier, but down from a 5-month high of 7.52% 5 weeks earlier

Up from 6.94%

Mortgage News Daily

Weekly average 30-year fixed mortgage rate

6.99% (week ending June 6)

Down slightly from 7.03% a week earlier; down from a 5-month high of 7.22% a month earlier

Up from 6.71%

Freddie Mac

Mortgage-purchase applications (seasonally adjusted)

 

Increased 9% from a week earlier (as of week ending June 7)

Down 12%

Mortgage Bankers Association

Redfin Homebuyer Demand Index (seasonally adjusted)

 

Down 2% from a month earlier (as of week ending June 9)

Down 18%

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

Touring activity

 

Up 28% from the start of the year (as of June 9)

At this time last year, it was up 22% from the start of 2023

ShowingTime, a home touring technology company

Google searches for “home for sale”

 

Unchanged from a month earlier (as of June 10)

Down 16%

Google Trends

Key housing-market data

U.S. highlights: Four weeks ending June 9, 2024

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 June 9, 2024

Year-over-year change

Notes

Median sale price

$393,627

4.4%

All-time high; biggest increase in about 3 months (tied with increase during 4 weeks ending April 21)

Median asking price

$417,475

6%

 

Median monthly mortgage payment

$2,829 at a 6.99% mortgage rate

8.6%

$30 below all-time high set during the 4 weeks ending April 28

Pending sales

86,604

-3.5%

Biggest decline in 3 months

New listings

100,411

7.8%

 

Active listings

939,839

16.7%

 

Months of supply

3.2

+0.6 pts.

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

42.4%

Down from 48%

 

Median days on market

31

+3 days

 

Share of homes sold above list price

32.1%

Down from 35%

 

Share of homes with a price drop

6.5%

+2 pts.

Highest level since Nov. 2022

Average sale-to-list price ratio

99.6%

-0.3 pts.

 

Metro-level highlights: Four weeks ending June 9, 2024

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 (16.8%)

Newark, NJ (16.4%)

New Brunswick, NJ (15.5%)

Nassau County, NY (14.6%)

San Jose, CA (13%)

Austin, TX (-3.5%)

Fort Worth, TX (-2.5%)

San Antonio (-1.1%)

Portland, OR (-0.9%)

Declined in 4 metros

Pending sales

San Jose, CA (12.2%)

Columbus, OH (5.8%)

Pittsburgh (5.4%)

Milwaukee (4%)

Seattle (3.6%)

Houston (-16.2%)

West Palm Beach, FL (-13.4%)

Fort Lauderdale, FL (-11.5%)

Atlanta (-10%)

Tampa, FL (-9.9%)

Increased in 13 metros

New listings

San Jose, CA (39.9%)

Phoenix (26.1%)

San Diego (23.2%)

Miami (20.9%)

Denver (17.7%)

Atlanta (-7.9%)

Chicago (-5.1%)

Newark, NJ (-3.2%)

Indianapolis (-2.8%)

Minneapolis (-2.1%)

Declined in 7 metros

To view the full report, including charts, please visit: https://www.redfin.com/news/housing-market-update-home-prices-record-high-mortgage-rates-decline

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