Redfin: Homes Sold Faster Than Ever in April

Home prices gained as sales were constrained by a double-digit inventory dip

The typical home that sold last month went under contract in just 40 days, and the market is likely to accelerate further

Seattle, WA – May 18th 2017 (Red Fin) U.S. home prices rose 6.2 percent to a median sale price of $280,000 in April, according to Redfin (www.redfin.com), the next-generation real estate brokerage. Home sales inched up 1.2 percent over last year, constrained by a shortage in the supply of homes. The number of homes for sale fell 13.3 percent, the steepest decline in four years, marking 19 straight months of annual declines.

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The typical home went under contract in 40 days, 10 days faster than a year earlier, making April the fastest month on record since Redfin began tracking the market in 2010. One in five homes (22.2%) that sold in April went under contract within two weeks of their debut. One in four (24.7%) homes sold above their list price, which is the highest percentage Redfin has recorded.
“When it comes to the housing market breaking records, I’m beginning to sound like a broken record,” said Nela Richardson, Redfin chief economist. “The market tends to accelerate through June so I wouldn’t be surprised if new records for speed and competition are reached in May and June given what we are seeing now. The only record this market can’t break is sales. You need more inventory for that!”

Regional April Highlights

Competition

  • Denver, CO was the fastest market, with nearly half of all homes going under contract in just 6 days, down from 11 days a year earlier. Seattle, WA was the next fastest market with 7 median days on market, followed by Portland, OR and Tacoma, WA at 10 days.
  • The most competitive market in April was San Jose, CA where 75.4% of homes sold above list price, followed by 69.5% in San Francisco, CA, 69.4% in Oakland, CA, 62.1% in Seattle, WA, and 52.4% in Tacoma, WA. In sharp contrast, 0.0% of homes in Kansas City, MO sold above the list price.

Prices

  • Milwaukee, WI had the nation’s highest price growth, up 18.2% since last year to $208,000. Greenville, SC had the second highest price growth at 17.6% year-over-year, followed by Seattle, WA (17.4%), Deltona, FL (14.8%), and Tampa, FL (13.8%).
  • 2 metros saw price declines in April: Baton Rouge, LA (-1.2%), and Greensboro, NC (-1%).

Sales

  • 18 out of 90 metros saw sales surge by double digits from last year. Poughkeepsie, NY led the nation in year-over-year sales growth, up 36%, followed by Baltimore, MD, up 31%. Camden, NJ rounded out the top three with sales up 28% from a year ago.
  • Home sales in Buffalo, NY and Ogden, UT declined by 19.4% and 19.3%, respectively.
    • Inventory

      • Rochester, NY had the largest decrease in overall inventory, falling 37.8% since last April. Seattle, WA (-35.3%), Buffalo, NY (-32.8%), and Rochester, NH (-30.8%) also saw far fewer homes available on the market than a year ago.
      • Fort Myers, FL had the highest increase in the number of homes for sale, up 29.2% year over year, followed by Knoxville, TN (19.7%) and Austin, TX (12.4%).

      To read the full report, complete with data and charts, please visit the following link: www.redfin.com.

      About Redfin

      Redfin (www.redfin.com) is the next-generation real estate brokerage, combining its own full-service agents with modern technology to redefine real estate in the consumer’s favor. Founded by software engineers, Redfin has the country’s #1 brokerage website and offers a host of online tools to consumers, including the Redfin Estimate, the automated home-value estimate with the industry’s lowest published error rate. Homebuyers and sellers enjoy a full-service, technology-powered experience from Redfin real estate agents, while saving thousands in commissions. Redfin serves more than 80 major metro areas across the U.S. The company has closed more than $40 billion in home sales through 2016.

      Contacts

      Redfin Journalist Services:
      Alina Ptaszynski
      (206) 588-6863
      press@redfin.com

Median Prices Continue to Rise in Florida’s Housing Market in April 2017

Orlando, FL – May 24, 2017 (PRNewswire) Rising median prices and constrained inventory remained a prevailing trend in Florida’s housing market in April, according to the latest housing data released by Florida Realtors®. The trend resulted in a loss of momentum for home sales: Sales of single-family homes statewide totaled 23,829 last month, easing slightly (-1.2 percent) when compared to April 2016.

Florida Realtors Logo

“Low inventory means fewer homes on the market and increased competition for those homes,” said 2017 Florida Realtors President Maria Wells, broker-owner with Lifestyle Realty Group in Stuart. “It puts consumers in a position where they have to be prepared and ready to buy, as many Realtors around the state report seeing more instances of multiple offers. And, without more for-sale homes, median prices will continue to rise due to demand. In April, sellers of existing single-family homes received 96.2 percent (median percentage) of their original listing price, while those selling townhouse-condo properties received 94.7 percent – an indication that the listed price is extremely close to market value.

“Working with a local Realtor enables consumers to have the advice of an expert in their local housing market – someone who can guide them through their home search and help them find the right home that fits their budget and their lifestyle.”

The statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes last month was $234,900, up 10.3 percent from the previous year, according to data from Florida Realtors research department in partnership with local Realtor boards/associations. The statewide median price for townhouse-condo properties in April was $172,000, up 7.2 percent over the year-ago figure. April was the 65th month in a row that statewide median prices for both sectors rose year-over-year. The median is the midpoint; half the homes sold for more, half for less.

According to the National Association of Realtors® (NAR), the national median sales price for existing single-family homes in March 2017 was $237,800, up 6.6 percent from the previous year; the national median existing condo price was $224,700. In California, the statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes in March was $517,020; in Massachusetts, it was $350,000; in Maryland, it was $269,204; and in New York, it was $249,000.

Looking at Florida’s townhouse-condo market, statewide closed sales totaled 10,292 last month, down 4 percent compared to April 2016. Closed sales data reflected fewer short sales and cash-only sales last month: Short sales for townhouse-condo properties declined 38.5 percent while short sales for single-family homes also dropped 33.8 percent. Closed sales may occur from 30- to 90-plus days after sales contracts are written.

“Closed sales of single-family homes were down in 14 of Florida’s 22 metro areas compared to last April, and fell by 1.2 percent statewide – but there is no indication that demand is falling off,” said Florida Realtors® Chief Economist Dr. Brad O’Connor. “Rather, all signs continue to point to a market being held back by a shortage of homes for sale. As of the end of April, the statewide inventory of single-family homes for sale was down by nearly 5 percent compared to where it was a year ago.

“Additionally, single-family homes that did sell in April were snapped up as quickly as in any month in recent years. According to Florida Realtors median-time-to-sale metric, half of the single-family homes selling in April of last year went from listing to close in 90 days or less, but this April, that figure fell to 85 days or less – a 5.6 percent decline.”

He noted that the townhouse-condo market has been relatively more balanced than the single-family market from a statewide perspective for several months, but local markets experience more variance in townhouse-condo inventory levels.

April’s inventory remained constricted with a 4-months’ supply for single-family homes and a 6.1-months’ supply for townhouse-condo properties, according to Florida Realtors.

According to Freddie Mac, the interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.05 percent in April 2017, up significantly from the 3.61 percent average recorded during the same month a year earlier.

To see the full statewide housing activity reports, go to Florida Realtors Media Center at http://media.floridarealtors.org/ and look under Latest Releases, or download the April 2017 data report PDFs under Market Data at: http://media.floridarealtors.org/market-data

Florida Realtors® serves as the voice for real estate in Florida. It provides programs, services, continuing education, research and legislative representation to its more than 165,000 members in 55 boards/associations. Florida Realtors® Media Center website is available at media.floridarealtors.org.

California Pending Home Sales Lose Steam for Fourth Straight Month in April, C.A.R. Reports

Los Angeles, CA – May 24, 2017 (PRNewswire-USNewswire) Consistent with the slowdown in April’s closed escrow sales, which declined from the previous month and year, low housing inventory and eroding affordability suppressed pending home sales for the fourth straight month, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.) said today.

CAR Logo

C.A.R.’s April Market Pulse Survey** saw mixed results as REALTORS® reported an increase in floor calls for the fourth straight month, but less open house traffic, and no change in listing appointment activity compared with the previous month.

Pending home sales data:

  • Based on signed contracts, year-over-year statewide pending home sales declined for the fourth straight month in April on a seasonally adjusted basis, with the Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI)* declining 7.4 percent from 122.8 in April 2016 to 113.7 in April 2017. On a monthly basis, California pending home sales increased 5.9 percent from the March index of 107.4.
  • April’s year-over-year pending sales decline is the largest since July 2014, when sales decreased 9.1 percent from the previous year. The quickening pace of pending sales declines provides further evidence that the typically busy spring home buying season may underperform, primarily due to demand outstripping the supply of active listings, which was 10.5 percent lower than in April a year ago.
  • At the regional level, Southern California was the most resilient region in the state, where pending sales held on for a modest decline of 2.8 percent, aided in large part by a 2 percent increase in Riverside County and a 1.1 percent uptick in Orange County. San Diego posted a double-digit decline of 11.1 percent. Los Angeles County saw pending sales decline 4.7 percent, and San Bernardino pending sales fell 4 percent.
  • At the opposite end of the spectrum, the San Francisco Bay Area bore the brunt of the slowdown. On a year over year basis, pending sales in April were 17.1 percent below where they were in April 2016. San Francisco, San Mateo, and Santa Clara all posted double-digit declines in pending sales (down 16.1 percent, 12.2 percent, 14.6 percent, respectively) as inventories remained between 1.8 and 2 months of supply with median prices of more than $1 million.
  • The Central Valley also posted a double-digit decline of 11.2 percent in April. Despite the rebounding energy sector and relative affordability, Kern County saw pending sales shrink by 15.5 percent from April 2016. However, Fresno, Kings, Madera, and Merced were already seeing closed sales begin to stumble back in March, and this weak reading on pending sales suggests that the sluggishness of sales will persist in the Central Valley over the near term as well.
  • In C.A.R.’s newest market indicator of future price appreciation, Market Velocity – home sales relative to the number of new listings coming on line each month to replenish that sold inventory – suggests that price growth will begin to accelerate this summer. With demand remaining strong and inventories tightening further, price pressure will get more intense over the next six months and that median price growth may accelerate into the high single digits through the fall. Market Velocity is strongly correlated with increases/decreases in price growth with a roughly three- to six-month lag time.

Year-to-Year Change in Pending Sales by County/Region

Chart

April REALTOR® Market Pulse Survey**:

Entering the spring homebuying season, California REALTORS® responding to C.A.R.’s April Market Pulse Survey said their expectations for market conditions of the next year declined from April as they experienced less open house traffic, fewer multiple offers, more price reductions, and no change in listing appointment activity compared with March.

  • The share of homes selling above asking price dipped from 32 percent a year ago to 31 percent in April, while the share of properties selling below asking price slipped to 38 percent from 40 percent in April 2016. The remaining 31 percent sold at asking price, up from 28 percent in April 2016.
  • For homes that sold above asking price, the premium paid over asking price was essentially unchanged from a year ago, at 10 percent.
  • The 38 percent of homes that sold below asking price sold for an average of 17 percent below asking price in April, compared to 12 percent a year ago.
  • The share of properties receiving multiple offers declined in April after trending higher for three straight months. About two-thirds of properties sold (68 percent) received multiple offers in April, down from 69 percent in April 2016.
  • The share of properties receiving three or more offers in April was 44 percent, compared to 45 percent a year ago.
  • Only homes priced $500,000-$749,000 and $2 million and higher posted gains in receiving three or more offers compared with last year, rising from 53 percent to 61 percent, and 50 percent and 63 percent, respectively.
  • After falling for four consecutive months, listing price reductions rose to 26 percent in April, up from 23 percent in April 2016.
  • A lack of available inventory continued to be the top concern for 48 percent of REALTORS®, the highest level recorded. Eroding housing affordability/high interest rates concerned 19.5 percent of REALTORS®. Inflated home prices/housing bubble was cited by 19.5 percent of REALTORS®. A slowdown in economic growth, lending and financing, and policy and regulations rounded out REALTORS®’ remaining biggest concerns.
  • REALTORS®’ expectations of market conditions over the next year remained high at an index of 64, up from an index of 60 a year ago.

Graphics (click links to open):

*Note: C.A.R.’s pending sales information is generated from a survey of more than 70 associations of REALTORS® and MLSs throughout the state. Pending home sales are forward-looking indicators of future home sales activity, offering solid information on future changes in the direction of the market. A sale is listed as pending after a seller has accepted a sales contract on a property. The majority of pending home sales usually become closed sales transactions one to two months later. The year 2008 was used as the benchmark for the Pending Homes Sales Index. An index of 100 is equal to the average level of contract activity during 2008.

**C.A.R.’s Market Pulse Survey is a monthly online survey sent to more than 10,000 California REALTORS® to measure data about their last closed transaction and sentiment about business activity in their market area for the previous month. More than 400 REALTORS® responded.

Leading the way…® in California real estate for more than 110 years, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (www.car.org) is one of the largest state trade organizations in the United States with more than 190,000 members dedicated to the advancement of professionalism in real estate. C.A.R. is headquartered in Los Angeles.

Realtors® Have a Positive Outlook for Commercial Markets in 2017

Washington, D.C. – May 19, 2017 (nar.realtor) While challenges face commercial real estate markets, Realtors® specializing in the sector should have confidence that growth will continue. That’s according to speakers at a commercial economic issues and trends forum at the REALTORS® Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo.

NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun led a panel discussion about the economic forces shaping commercial real estate markets; the panelists agreed that the market has improved and that continued growth in the economy will further drive activity, but difficulties remain regarding availability of financing for smaller commercial properties.

George Ratiu, NAR director of quantitative and commercial research, said that increased trade and the rise of e-commerce has boosted rents in the industrial and warehouse sector. “During a time of transformation in consumer shopping habit, vacancy rates will still continue to see a gradual decline in warehousing and strong rent growth will continue,” he said.

Unemployment has declined to 4.4 percent and consumer confidence is at its highest point in 15 years. As the economy improves, the commercial real estate market has continued to improve as well, said Yun. “A rising interest rate environment is likely to halt commercial price growth or even cause a minor decline; that outlook is supported by the expanding economy and the over 2 million jobs gained in the past year,” he said.

Looking at the global market, Ratiu explained that global commercial investors have hit the pause button on investments, which in the first quarter of 2017 decreased nearly 20 percent year-over-year; however, certain U.S. markets are seeing good global cash flow with $76 billion flowing to the U.S. “Overall global investments are down, while the San Francisco, Dallas, Charlotte, Houston and Baltimore markets have experienced large sales volume gains,” he said.

With the blip in overall global investments in the first quarter, international buyers are likely to play a greater role in the U.S. market this year. “Over the past five years, a near majority of Realtors® experienced an increase in the number of international clients. We expect international buying activity to grow in 2017, which will have an overall positive impact on the commercial market’s gradual recovery,” said Yun.

One major hurdle that continues to affect the market is the lack of available financing to small commercial real estate investors, due in large part to regulatory uncertainty.

“Realtors® are seeing evidence of markets being impacted by regulators’ increased scrutiny of banks’ balance sheet allocations to commercial real estate loans,” said Ratiu. “Considering that 64 percent of Realtor® clients get their financing from banks, this is likely to impact deal flow as lending conditions tightened in 37 percent of Realtors®’ markets, a four percent increase from last year.”

John Worth, senior vice president of research and investor outreach at the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts, discussed the performance of commercial real estate investment and its status among other investment sectors. “Real estate investment is currently the best performing asset class. Strong returns and the level of new commercial supply we are seeing today is making up for a lot of missing sectors, following the economic downturn. The first quarter of this year saw a slight decrease, but 2017 is experiencing an overall healthy trend,” he said.

The National Association of Realtors®, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America’s largest trade association, representing more than 1.2 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.