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Posted On Thursday, 18 July 2024 10:03

Mortgage rates dropped to their lowest level since February after the latest CPI report showed inflation cooling. Still, pending home sales posted their biggest decline in eight months

The typical U.S. homebuyer’s monthly housing payment was $2,722 during the four weeks ending July 14, $115 lower than April’s all-time high, according to a new report from Redfin (redfin.com), the technology-powered real estate brokerage. That’s despite home prices sitting just about $100 shy of last week’s record high.

Daily average mortgage rates have dropped to their lowest level since February after last week’s cooler-than-expected inflation report, bringing homebuyers a bit of relief.

A homebuyer on a $3,000 monthly budget can afford a $450,000 home with a 6.8% mortgage rate, roughly the daily average as of July 17. That buyer has gained about $25,000 in purchasing power since rates hit a five-month peak in April, when they could have bought a $425,000 home with a 7.5% rate.

Rising supply is another piece of promising news for homebuyers, with new listings up 6.4% year over year and the total number of listings near its highest level in almost four years. More homeowners are selling because they’re tired of waiting for rates to drop significantly; it has been more than two years since they started rising from pandemic-era lows.

Buyers have yet to react strongly to falling rates and increasing inventory. Pending sales are down 5.6% year over year, the biggest decline in eight months, and Redfin’s Homebuyer Demand Index—a measure of requests for tours and other buying services from Redfin agents—is down 15%. Mortgage-purchase applications are down 3% week over week on a seasonally adjusted basis. That’s despite mortgage rates falling year over year; the 6.83% daily average as of July 17 is down from 6.9% a year ago. Some buyers are sitting on the sidelines because they’re hoping mortgage rates will decline more.

“Now that it’s looking increasingly likely the Fed will cut interest rates by the end of the year, some house hunters believe mortgage rates will fall more and are waiting for that to happen before they buy,” said Chen Zhao, Redfin’s economic research lead. “But they may be waiting in vain; it’s unlikely mortgage rates will drop much lower in the next few months, as markets are already pricing in the expectation of a rate cut in September, followed by several more at the end of 2024 and into 2025. In fact, now may be the right time for house hunters to get serious about making offers before prices increase even more and they lose some power. Plus, there are more homes to choose from, and many listings are growing stale, giving buyers an opportunity to negotiate.”

Another reason for slow demand is extreme heat in some parts of the country preventing house hunters from touring. Nashville, TN Redfin Premier agent Kristin Sanchez said: “Severe heat waves are making people feel pretty much locked in their houses. They don’t want to come out to see homes because it’s miserable outside; open houses haven’t been getting much traffic.”

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

6.83% (July 17)

Lowest level since February; down from 7.14% 2 weeks earlier

Down from 6.9%

Mortgage News Daily

Weekly average 30-year fixed mortgage rate

6.89% (week ending July 11)

Down from 6.95% a week earlier

Down from 6.96%

Freddie Mac

Mortgage-purchase applications (seasonally adjusted)

 

Decreased 3% from a week earlier (as of week ending July 12)

Down 14%

Mortgage Bankers Association

Redfin Homebuyer Demand Index (seasonally adjusted)

 

Up 3% from a month earlier (as of week ending July 14)

Down 15%

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

Touring activity

 

Up 26 from the start of the year (as of July 14)

At this time last year, it was up 19% from the start of 2023

ShowingTime, a home touring technology company

Google searches for “home for sale”

 

Up 4% from a month earlier (as of July 15)

Down 20%

Google Trends

Key housing-market data

U.S. highlights: Four weeks ending July 14, 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 July 14, 2024

Year-over-year change

Notes

Median sale price

$396,379

4.4%

Just about $100 shy of last week’s all-time high

Median asking price

$404,998

5.2%

 

Median monthly mortgage payment

$2,722 at a 6.89% mortgage rate

6.1%

$115 below all-time high set during the 4 weeks ending April 28

Pending sales

81,297

-5.6%

Biggest decline in 8 months

New listings

93,676

6.4%

 

Active listings

977,230

18.4%

Smallest increase in 3 months

Months of supply

3.6

+0.7 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

39.1%

Down from 44%

 

Median days on market

32

+4 days

 

Share of homes sold above list price

31.6%

Down from 36%

 

Share of homes with a price drop

6.7%

+1.8 pts.

Highest level on record

Average sale-to-list price ratio

99.5%

-0.5 pts.

 

Metro-level highlights: Four weeks ending July 14, 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

Detroit (16.3%)

Fort Lauderdale, FL (14.4%)

West Palm Beach, FL (13.9%)

Providence, RI (13.4%)

New Brunswick, NJ (12.3%)

Dallas (-2.3%)

Austin, TX (-2.1%)

Declined in 2 metros

Pending sales

San Jose, CA (9.6%)

San Francisco (7.1%)

Boston (4.5%)

Newark, NJ (3.5%)

Cincinnati, OH (2.4%)

Houston (-24.4%)

West Palm Beach, FL (-16.9%)

Minneapolis (-16.2%)

Virginia Beach, VA (-13.4%)

Atlanta (-12.9%)

Increased in 7 metros

New listings

San Jose, CA (30.3%)

Las Vegas (19.7%)

Miami (18.9%)

Jacksonville, FL (17.4%)

Seattle (15.6%)

Atlanta (-13.1%)

Houston (-6.6%)

Warren, MI (-5.1%)

Detroit (-4.5%)

Minneapolis (-3.2%)

Declined in 8 metros

To view the full report, including charts, methodology and metro-level data, please visit:
https://www.redfin.com/news/housing-market-update-housing-payments-mortgage-rates-decline

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