Today's Headlines - Realty Times
Posted On Friday, 15 September 2023 11:52
Posted On Friday, 15 September 2023 10:57
Posted On Friday, 15 September 2023 10:03

Some homebuyers got cold feet as mortgage rates hit the highest level in over two decades and prices continued to rise, but buyer demand and new listings have stabilized following months of declines

Residential real estate deals are falling through at the highest rate in almost a year as high mortgage rates give homebuyers sticker shock, according to a new report from Redfin (, the technology-powered real estate brokerage.

Nationwide, nearly 60,000 home-purchase agreements were canceled in August, equal to 15.7% of homes that went under contract that month. That’s up from 14.3% a year earlier and marks the highest percentage since October 2022, when mortgage rates surpassed 7% for the first time in two decades.

The average interest rate on a 30-year-fixed mortgage was 7.07% in August. At one point last month, it hit 7.23%—the highest since 2001—sending the typical homebuyer’s monthly payment up significantly from last year.

“I’ve seen more homebuyers cancel deals in the last six months than I’ve seen at any point during my 24 years of working in real estate. They’re getting cold feet,” said Jaime Moore, a Redfin Premier real estate agent in Reno, NV. “Buyers get sticker shock when they see their high rate on paper alongside extra expenses for maintenance, repairs and closing costs. Many of them would rather back out, even if it means losing their earnest money. A lot of sellers are also willing to let buyers slip away because they don’t want to concede to repair requests.”

Home Prices Post Biggest Increase in Almost a Year

The median U.S. home sale price rose 3% year over year to $420,846 in August, the largest annual increase since October 2022, and was little changed (-0.2%) from a month earlier. It was 2.8% below the May 2022 record high of $432,780.

Activity in the housing market is sluggish due to rising mortgage rates, but prices remain high because the buyers who are out there are competing for a limited number of homes.

“Home prices will likely remain elevated for the foreseeable future,” said Redfin Economics Research Lead Chen Zhao. “The Federal Reserve still has more work to do in its battle against inflation, which means mortgage rates are unlikely to come down anytime soon. As long as rates remain high, homeowners will be reluctant to sell. And that lack of homes for sale will keep prices high because it means buyers are duking it out for a limited supply of houses.”

Home prices also posted a year-over-year gain in August due to the “base effect” from a year earlier; in August 2022, prices had recently started descending from their record high, which is contributing to the size of year-over-year increases we’re seeing now.

Buyer Demand Is Below Pre-Pandemic Levels, But No Longer in Freefall

Pending sales declined 0.6% from a month earlier in August on a seasonally-adjusted basis, and fell 18.1% year over year. While they’re no longer falling as rapidly as they were earlier in 2023, pending sales remain below pre-pandemic levels. They’ve been hovering below 400,000 since the end of last year, compared with nearly 500,000 just before the pandemic.

Pending sales have stabilized as the initial shock of elevated mortgage rates has moved further into the rearview mirror, but high housing costs are still keeping many buyers on the sidelines.

New Listings Tick Up Slightly, But Overall Housing Supply Remains at Record Low

New listings rose 0.8% from a month earlier in August—the second small uptick on a seasonally adjusted basis following nearly a year’s worth of declines—and were down 14.4% year over year.

“New listings have likely bottomed out,” Zhao said. “Most of the homeowners who feel handcuffed by high rates have already made the decision not to sell. That means many of today’s sellers are putting their homes on the market because they have to, in some cases due to divorce, family emergencies or return-to-office policies.”

Still, the total number of homes for sale hit a record low in August, falling 1.1% month over month on a seasonally adjusted basis and 20.8% year over year—the largest annual decline since June 2021.

Housing supply is at an all-time low because homeowners feel locked in to their low mortgage rates; for many, selling their home and buying a new one would mean taking on a much higher monthly payment.

August 2023 Highlights: United States


August 2023

Month-Over-Month Change

Year-Over-Year Change

Median sale price




Pending sales, seasonally adjusted




Homes sold, seasonally adjusted




New listings, seasonally adjusted




All homes for sale, seasonally adjusted (active listings)




Months of supply




Median days on market




Share of for-sale homes with a price drop


2.2 ppts

-1.7 ppts

Share of homes sold above final list price


-2.0 ppts

-1.5 ppts

Average sale-to-final-list-price ratio


-0.2 ppts

0.0 ppts

Pending sales that fell out of contract, as % of overall pending sales


0.5 ppts

1.4 ppts

Average 30-year fixed mortgage rate


0.23 ppts

1.85 ppts

Metro-Level Highlights: August 2023

  • Pending sales: In Boise, ID, pending sales fell 70.5% year over year, more than any other metro Redfin analyzed. Next came Hartford, CT (-57.3%) and New Haven, CT (-55.8%). Only two metros saw increases: Rochester, NY (0.9%) and McAllen, TX (0.5%). The smallest decline was in Detroit (-1.8%).
  • Closed sales: In Bridgeport, CT, closed home sales dropped 25.9% year over year, more than any other metro Redfin analyzed. Next came Stockton, CA (-25.8%) and Tacoma, WA (-25.7%). Closed sales rose in just one metro—Las Vegas (1.4%)—and fell least in North Port, FL (-0.1%) and Phoenix (-2.9%).
  • Prices: Median sale prices rose most from a year earlier in Newark, NJ (16.7%), Miami (14.6%) and Rochester (14.3%). They fell in 15 metros, with the steepest declines in Austin, TX (-7%), Boise (-5.8%) and Fort Worth, TX (-2.7%).
  • Listings: New listings fell most from a year earlier in Hartford (-46.7%), Allentown, PA (-46.6%) and New Haven (-38.8%). They rose in five metros, with the biggest increases in North Port (6%), McAllen (2.4%) and Albany, NY (2.2%).
  • Supply: Active listings fell most from a year earlier in Boise (-45.5%), Allentown (-45.4%) and Bridgeport (-45.1%). They climbed in six metros, with the biggest jumps in New Orleans (28.8%), McAllen (25.9%) and North Port (13.7%).
  • Competition: In Rochester, 77.1% of homes sold above their final list price, the highest share among the metros Redfin analyzed. Next came Hartford (71.9%) and Buffalo, NY (69.6%). The shares were lowest in North Port (7.7%), Cape Coral, FL (10.6%) and West Palm Beach, FL (13%).
  • Speed: The fastest market was Grand Rapids, MI, where the typical home went under contract in seven days. Next came Cincinnati (8) and Seattle (8). The slowest markets were New Orleans (61), Honolulu (60) and West Palm Beach (60).

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

Posted On Friday, 15 September 2023 06:26 Written by
Posted On Thursday, 14 September 2023 14:30
Posted On Thursday, 14 September 2023 13:21
Posted On Thursday, 14 September 2023 10:45
Posted On Thursday, 14 September 2023 10:13
Posted On Thursday, 14 September 2023 09:39

According to Realtors® and Prospective Home Buyers Across Races and Ethnicities.

The current real estate market’s high home prices and mortgage rates, as well as limited inventory, are the top reasons that Realtors® and prospective home buyers across races and ethnicities cite as barriers to purchasing a home, according to two new reports from the National Association of Realtors®.

In partnership with Morning Consult, NAR’s 2023 Experiences & Barriers of Prospective Home Buyers Across Races/Ethnicities report surveyed White, Hispanic/Latino(a), Black and Asian prospective home buyers about their experiences. NAR’s 2023 Experiences & Barriers of Prospective Home Buyers: Member Study surveyed Realtors® who focus on residential real estate regarding the latest buyer with whom they worked who has not yet purchased a home, and it compares findings with the consumer study.

“Home buyers face the most difficult affordability conditions in nearly 40 years due to limited inventory and rising mortgage interest rates,” said Jessica Lautz, NAR’s deputy chief economist and vice president of research. “The impact is exacerbated among first-time buyers who are more likely to be from underrepresented segments of the population.”

Among prospective home buyers, Asian (27%), Hispanic (24%), Black (20%) and White (15%) respondents say the main reason they have not yet bought a home is because they are waiting for prices to drop. White respondents (15%) are just as likely to say it is because they are waiting for mortgage rates to drop. Additional market-related reasons that prospective home buyers cite as barriers include waiting for mortgage rates to decline (18% - 25% of all four groups) and not enough available homes within their budget (19% - 24% of all four groups).

The top three reasons why Realtors® say buyers have not yet purchased homes are the same as reported by consumers: not enough homes available for purchase in buyers’ budgets (34%), buyers are waiting for mortgage rates to drop as higher prices affect affordability (18%) and buyers are waiting for prices to drop (9%). These three factors greatly impact affordability since limited inventory drives up home prices and higher rates increase monthly mortgage payments.

Saving for a competitive home down payment is also a primary obstacle for prospective home buyers (6% - 9% of all four groups). In terms of what holds them back from saving for a sufficient down payment, prospective home buyers across races and ethnicities cite as barriers current rent/mortgage payments (43% - 56% of all four groups) and credit card payments (38% - 57% of all four groups). Despite this, awareness about existing down payment assistance programs is low among prospective buyers saving for down payments. Only 8% - 15% of all four groups applied for these programs, 20% - 33% considered but did not apply to these programs, 21% - 32% did not consider these programs, and one-third (30% - 33% of all four groups) say that they are not aware of these assistance programs. For prospective home buyers who are aware of down payment assistance programs, the primary reason they did not apply for them is because they did not know enough about the programs (44% - 58% of all four groups).

Likewise, more than half of Realtors® (53%) say that at least one issue is holding their latest buyer back from saving a competitive down payment: most likely current rent or mortgage payments (23%) or credit card balances or payments (17%). Further, only 23% of Realtors® say that their buyers experiencing these challenges have applied for down payment assistance programs. This is most likely because their income is too high (30%), they did not know enough about the programs (19%), or they are worried about the competitiveness of their offers in multiple-bid situations (17%).

“Down payment assistance programs often fly under the radar for potential home buyers. Using programs – like FHA, VA or USDA loans – can make homeownership more attainable. Experts, such as agents who are Realtors®, can educate potential buyers about these programs. Doing so will bring in more first-time buyers and narrow the racial homeownership gap,” added Lautz.

Discrimination also plays a role in the homebuying process. About one in six (13% - 16% of all four groups) prospective home buyers across races and ethnicities report facing discrimination. More than half of Black (63%), Asian (60%) and Hispanic (52%) prospective home buyers who report this say it was due to their race or ethnicity. Of these, the largest proportions of every group are most likely to report that this discrimination manifests in steering toward or away from specific neighborhoods (36% - 51% of all four groups) and more strict requirements (32% - 48% of all four groups). Despite all of this, most discrimination during the homebuying process goes unreported: 47% - 81% who describe it did not report it to a government agency or legal aid organization. 

 Interestingly, only 1% of Realtors® who took the survey report that their buyers experienced discrimination during the homebuying process, while 13% are not sure. Those reporting discrimination are most likely to say this is based on race or ethnicity and lay this at the feet of lenders, saying that buyers experienced this in the type of loan product offered (43%) or that buyers did not receive a call back from lender(s) (29%). Of those who report discrimination, 57% report it based on race, 29% report it based on age and 21% report it based on familial status (including marriage or parental status). Just 7% say that the buyer reported the discrimination, which was on the basis of either race or religion or both, to a government agency or legal aid organization.

To help address discriminatory practices in real estate, NAR offers several resources to its members, including Fairhaven, an interactive training simulation based on real fair housing cases; Bias Override, an implicit bias training course with practical tips to override bias; At Home With Diversity, a certification course aimed at serving diverse consumers; and a confidential voluntary self-testing program for brokerages to assess agents’ compliance with fair housing laws. In Washington, NAR advocates for strong fair housing and fair lending enforcement, and policies aimed at closing homeownership gaps among demographic groups.”

Posted On Thursday, 14 September 2023 06:37 Written by
Posted On Thursday, 14 September 2023 00:00 Written by
Posted On Wednesday, 13 September 2023 09:24

Agent Resource

Before You List

Realty Times

From buying and selling advice for consumers to money-making tips for Agents, our content, updated daily, has made Realty Times® a must-read, and see, for anyone involved in Real Estate.