Record-High Down Payments See Moderation

Buyers are paying record-high down payments thanks to the combination of soaring prices and high competition, but they may see a reprieve soon, according to new data from Redfin. The typical U.S. mortgage borrower in July put down $62,500, up 13.6% YOY and nearly twice the growth in home sales prices. It’s also nearly double the median $32,917 down payment from July 2019, before the pandemic. Down payments have fallen slightly since peaking at $66,000 in May and June, due in part to the cooling market. Just under 59% of buyers who used a mortgage had a 10%-plus down payment, up from 57.5% a year ago but down from a peak of 60.5% in May. “Homebuyers don’t need to make…

Home Values Slip For Second Month Straight

The value of a typical American home dropped for the second straight month, down 0.3% from July to August in the largest monthly dip since 2011. Zillow’s latest market report found that affordability is directing market declines, with lower-priced homes staying hotly competitive while expensive markets see drastic declines. The U.S. typical home value is now $356,054. Areas that saw big gains during the pandemic are now susceptible to fast drops, losing their appreciation momentum from the Great Migration. Midwestern markets, which tend to be more affordable, remain hot, while Western markets are comparatively tanking. Volatile mortgage rates are impacting these areas as borrowers find it increasingly hard to even qualify for a loan, let alone house-hunt. “Substantial day-to-day and…

Buyers And Sellers Both Make Concessions As Market Rebalances

Housing inventory is increasing as mortgage rates are locking some buyers out of the market, but re-balancing comes with sacrifices for both buyers and sellers. Redfin reported that there were 2.9 months of home supply during the four weeks ending September 11. This is up from 1 month a year ago and the highest level since June 2020. Less than four months’ supply is typically considered a seller’s market, while four to six is a balanced market and six or more is a buyer’s market. The pandemic seller’s market peaked at a 1.8 months supply. In May, supply sat at 2 months, meaning the surge to 2.9 in September has happened quickly. Interest rates have skyrocketed since the beginning of…

More Than Half Of New Homes Face Climate-Related Damage

More than half of U.S. homes built in the last ten years face risk from climate change, a huge jump from previous decades, Redfin reported. Redfin analyzed climate-risk scores from ClimateCheck and county records on homes built since 1900 to determine how many homes have a higher risk of climate-related damage. Fifty-five percent of homes are at risk for fires, while 45% are in drought-prone areas. This is a massive increase from the first half of the 20th century when only 14% of homes were in high fire risk areas and 37% faced droughts. New homes are also more vulnerable to heat and floods– almost 100% of homes built in the last two years see increased heat risk– but fire…

Home Sales Fall Nearly 20% YOY

Buyers are still fleeing the market in droves despite signs of cooling, driven out by rising mortgage rates and economic uncertainty. Home sales fell by 19.3% YOY in July, hitting their lowest level since the pandemic started, Redfin reported. It’s the biggest annual decline in U.S. home sales in more than a year. Sales also fell 4.1% from June. Redfin noted that while affordability challenges pushed some buyers out, others were concerned about the potential for home-value declines. Home price appreciation rose at its slowest pace since June 2020, up only 7.7%, and talk of price correction is everywhere. Fewer homeowners put their homes on the market, too. New listings fell 13.5% YOY, the biggest decline in more than a…

“Rate Lock-In,” Falling Prices Push Sellers To Sidelines

New listings fell 12% during the four-week period ending August 7, the largest YOY decline since June 2020, according to recent Redfin data. Higher mortgage rates are keeping some Americans in their homes longer than they normally would be. Some homeowners are experiencing what Redfin calls “rate lock-in,” a fear of putting their home up for sale due to a low rate they nabbed during the pandemic. Others are realizing they won’t get an offer over listing price on-demand like they could last year. “Buyers are backing off due to rising housing costs and sellers are holding back because they realize they won’t get the bidding war they would have gotten six months ago,” said Redfin Deputy Chief Economist Taylor…

Active Listings Rose At A Record-High Rate In July

Active listings posted a record-high growth rate in July, an indication that balance is returning to the housing market, Realtor.com reported. July’s Monthly Housing Trends Report found that the national inventory of active listings rose by 30.7% YOY, while the total inventory of unsold homes, including pending listings, increased for the first time since September 2019. This means there were 176,000 more homes actively for sale on a typical day in July than at the same time last year. However, the bump in total unsold inventory amounted to only a modest 3.5% due to a dip in pending inventory. And listings are still far behind their pre-pandemic and even early pandemic levels. Active listings were 15.7% below 2020 and 45.4%…

Housing Costs Pushing Inflation Up In Sunbelt Migration Hotspots

Inflation is soaring in America’s most popular migration locations, in part because of their boost of new residents and high home price appreciation, Redfin reported. Phoenix, Atlanta, Tampa, and Miami saw double-digit inflation in Q2 2022. They are also all high migration areas that are popular among Redfin’s users. Inflation in Phoenix was up 11.3% YOY and is the third most popular city for Redfin.com users looking to move to a new city. Atlanta was the twelfth most popular and had an inflation rate of 10.9%. Next came Tampa, the second most popular destination on Redfin, with the third highest inflation rate at 10.6%, followed by Miami, the single most popular destination, with the fourth highest inflation at 10% flat.…

Inventory Rebounded In June

Housing inventory rebounded in June, rising 2% across the country, according to a new report from Redfin. This is the first annual inventory increase since July 2019. Rising mortgage rates, home price appreciation, and a looming recession have pushed some potential homebuyers to the sidelines. Home sales were down almost 16% YOY, the largest drop since May 2020. “The country’s economic woes have already cooled the housing market, and they’re likely to continue dampening demand,” said Redfin Chief Economist Daryl Fairweather.  “The Fed has signaled it may increase interest rates further to combat stubbornly high inflation, which could harm consumer confidence, and lower stock prices mean fewer prospective homebuyers can afford a down payment.” Housing affordability is at its lowest…

Record Share Of Homesellers Slash Prices

Home sellers are slashing prices at a record pace as buyer activity falls off, Redfin reported. The median asking price for newly-listed homes saw decreased acceleration, rising 15% YOY. It is down 1.5% from its all-time high, which it hit in May. At the same time, a record share of sellers cut their asking price in the four-week period ending June 26. Pending home sales saw their biggest drop since May 2020, as evidence emerges that buyer demand is beginning to cool. But Redfin Chief Economist Daryl Fairweather says buyers aren’t done yet. Instead, they’re noticing “the shift in power, and are no longer leaving the market in droves.” That is, buyers are seeing that sellers are losing the upper…