Consumer Sentiment On Housing Hits Lowest Level Since May 2020

By KIMBERLEY HAAS Consumers across the country continue to report difficult homebuying conditions due to inflation, higher mortgage rates, and home price appreciation. Doug Duncan, Fannie Mae Senior Vice President and Chief Economist, says that in April their Home Purchase Sentiment Index fell to its lowest level since the spring of 2020. The percentage of respondents who said it is a good time to buy a home decreased from 24% to 19%, while the percentage who said it is a bad time to buy increased from 73% to 76%. As a result, the net share of those who say it is a good time to buy decreased 8 percentage points month over month, according to the survey. “The current lack…

More Sellers Are Dropping Asking Prices As Monthly Mortgage Payments Rise 42% YOY

As affordability declines, the hot housing market is starting to see signs of cooling. In April, 15% of home sellers dropped their asking prices, a 5.9% YOY increase, Redfin reported. The increase is a six-month-high and the largest annual gain on Redfin’s record, which dates back to 2015. But buyers still outnumber sellers, so the market remains competitive and homes priced affordably continue to sell for more than asking. New listings of homes for sale were down 6% YOY and have dwindled since mid-March. The median asking price of newly listed homes rose 16% YOY to $408,458, a new all-time high. So even as more sellers are dropping prices to entice buyers, their returns are still significant. “Homebuyers continue to…

March Home Sales Dropped 4% From Feb, Sign Of A Potential Slowdown

Home sales dropped by 4% last month and 8% YOY, closing out a fast-paced March with signs of a potential cooldown, Redfin reported. Homes sold at their fastest pace ever and for more above list price than any other March in history. The median home-sale price rose 6.2% to $412,700, a record high and the fastest month-over-month gain for this time of year since 2013. But seasonally adjusted home sales fell 4% thanks to severe inventory shortages, rising rates, and accelerating home prices. Seasonally adjusted active listings—the count of all homes that were for sale at any time during the month—fell 13% YOY to an all-time low. “Although pricey coastal markets began showing early signs of a slowdown in late…

Rents, Mortgage Payments Jumped In February

Average monthly asking rent in the U.S. leaped to new heights in February, up 15% year-over-year to a record high of $1,901, though mortgage growth outpaced it yet again, according to Redfin. Rent growth saw its largest annual increase since Redfin began tracking rental data in February 2019. Mortgage payments rose 31% YOY to $1,716, also the biggest increase recorded by Redfin. Mortgage payment increases outpaced rent increases in 44 of the 50 largest U.S. metros. “The cost of housing is going up for homebuyers and renters, but it’s going up more quickly for homebuyers,” said Redfin Chief Economist Daryl Fairweather.  “That’s because mortgage rates have increased sharply, and will likely continue to do so. When the cost of homeownership…

Second Home Demand Cools After Explosive January

Demand for vacation homes has cooled down after skyrocketing to near-record levels in January, Redfin reported. February saw second home demand reach its lowest level since May 2020 as mortgage rates continued climbing, only 35% above pre-pandemic levels. Rates declined for a few weeks due to uncertainty surrounding Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, but started inching up again last week, reaching 3.85%. While demand is still significantly elevated from two years ago, it’s nothing compared to January’s 87% increase. February was also the first month where primary residence demand beat out vacation home demand since the pandemic began, though only by 1%. “Rising mortgage rates, combined with rising home prices, are hitting the second-home market much harder than the primary-home market,”…

Average Homeowners Spend 13 Years In Their Home

The average American has now lived 13.2 years in their home, up from 2012’s 10.1 years but down from 2020’s 13.5-year record, Redfin reported. The report notes that last year’s high migration rates contributed to the downturn from 2020’s peak, though Americans continue aging in place, keeping the average inflated.  One-third of U.S. household heads were at least 65 years old in 2019. Housing analysts are already thinking about the changing face of the market as that number grows. Rising rents, stock shortages, and the number of homeowners who refinanced are also likely keeping people in their homes longer. “Homeowner tenure may have already peaked, or the decline in 2021 could be a blip before it climbs back up,” said…

Pending Home Sales Fall For Third Straight Month

Pending home sales continued a three-month streak of declines in January, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported. NAR’s Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI) found contract signings fell 5.7% to 109.5 in January, down 9.5% year-over-year (YOY). Only the West saw any increases, with contract signings rising 1.5% from December to January, but down 9.7% from a year earlier. The Northeast saw the largest annual drop in contract signings, 16.7%, plus a 12.1% drop in the month-to-month numbers, down to 84.3. The Midwest saw a 5.9% drop both monthly and annually, while signings in the South fell 6.3% from December and 8.7% YOY. “With inventory at an all-time low, buyers are still having a difficult time finding a home,” said…

Bidding Wars Hit Highest Level Since April 2020

Bidding wars hit their highest level since at least April 2020, with 70% of home offers from Redfin agents facing competition in January, a new Redfin report found. This is up from 67.7% in December and 61% in January 2021. The report chalks up the increased bidding to a combination of rising interest rates, high demand, and low inventory. January marked the first time rates hit 3.5% since the beginning of the pandemic, and have jumped to nearly 4% in the first weeks of February. New listings continue dropping, hitting record lows. “Rising mortgage rates are intensifying an already-severe shortage of homes for sale because buyers are feeling more urgency to buy while homeowners are feeling less urgency to sell—an…

Rental Rates Up By More Than 15%, Adding To Inflation

By KIMBERLEY HAAS Monthly asking rates for rentals increased an estimated 15.2% year-over-year in January, and some economists say this is accounting for a significant portion of recent inflation. Redfin is reporting that last month the average asking rent was $1,891, which is the largest annual jump since at least February of 2020. The national median monthly mortgage payment for homebuyers climbed by 25% year-over-year to $1,595. That is also the biggest increase in Redfin’s records. Redfin Chief Economist Daryl Fairweather noted that rising mortgage rates are shrinking more Americans out of the for-sale market, which will likely put increasing pressure on rents this year. “Moving right now is expensive, whether you’re renting or buying,” Fairweather said. “One of the only…

Austin Home Values Equivalent To Ecuador’s Total GDP

December 2021 saw a record annual surge in US home value, the largest gain seen in any December since at least 2001, according to a new analysis of Redfin’s Housing Value Index. U.S. home value rose 18.6% year-over-year (YOY) to $38.6 trillion. Austin, TX, saw home values double that, jumping 39.2% YOY. That shakes out to $365.9 billion, roughly the 2020 GDP of Ecuador and the biggest gain of any metro tracked by Redfin. December marked the 17th consecutive month of double-digit price gains as inventory shrank to a record low. Cape Coral, FL, saw the second-highest gains (36.9%), followed by Grand Rapids, MI (33.1%), Phoenix (32.8%), and Boise, ID (32.8%). Cape Coral and Phoenix have consistently made the list…