Redfin Housing Demand Index Virtually Flat from July to August Due to Continued Inventory Shortage

The number of Redfin customers touring and writing offers was basically even from July to August, but increased year over year

Seattle, WA – September 28th 2017 (BUSINESS WIRE) (NASDAQ:RDFN) — The Redfin Housing Demand Index remained virtually flat, up slightly from 126 in July to 127 in August, according to Redfin (www.redfin.com), the next-generation real estate brokerage. Still, the Demand Index increased 27.7 percent year over year. The Demand Index is adjusted for Redfin’s market share growth.

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The Demand Index is based on thousands of Redfin customers requesting home tours and writing offers. A level of 100 represents the historical average for the three-year period from January 2013 to December 2015.

Across the 15 metros covered by the Demand Index, there were 13.9 percent fewer homes for sale in August than there were a year prior, and there was a 2.7 percent decline in new listings. August marked the 27th consecutive month of year-over-year inventory declines in these markets.

“High consumer confidence and low interest rates have powered homebuyer demand, but too-low inventory has constrained home sales all year,” said Redfin chief economist Nela Richardson. “The Federal Reserve is now setting the stage for a slow, steady increase in mortgage rates in October by beginning to sell its mortgage portfolio. Fall buyers are likely to face slightly higher financing costs in addition to strong price growth.”

The seasonally adjusted number of buyers requesting home tours and writing offers remained flat from July to August, decreasing 0.8 percent and increasing 0.1 percent respectively. Compared to last year, 42.3 percent more buyers requested tours in August and 8.2 percent more wrote offers.

At the metro level, Oakland had the largest Demand Index increase in August, up 29 percent from July and 43 percent year over year. Inventory was down 30 percent year over year and new listings fell 5.3 percent.

“August has traditionally been one of the slowest months in Oakland for homebuyer activity as people go on vacation and finish up their family activities before the kids head back to school,” said Redfin Oakland agent Tom Hendershot. “This year, August demand has really ramped up compared to July, and we expect September to be a very active month as long as more new inventory hits the market.”

To read the full report, including metro-level demand data and charts, click here.

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 for listed homes. 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 $50 billion in home sales.

Contacts

Redfin Journalist Services:
Jon Whitely
(206) 588-6863
press@redfin.com

Existing-Home Sales Subside 1.7 Percent in August

Washington, D.C. – September 20, 2017 (nar.realtor) Existing-home sales stumbled in August for the fourth time in five months as strained supply levels continue to subdue overall activity, according to the National Association of Realtors®. Sales gains in the Northeast and Midwest were outpaced by declines in the South and West.

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Total existing-home sales(1), which are completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, retreated 1.7 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.35 million in August from 5.44 million in July. Last month’s sales pace is 0.2 percent above last August, and is the lowest since then.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says the slump in existing sales stretched into August despite what remains a solid level of demand for buying a home. “Steady employment gains, slowly rising incomes and lower mortgage rates generated sustained buyer interest all summer long, but unfortunately, not more home sales,” he said. “What’s ailing the housing market and continues to weigh on overall sales is the inadequate levels of available inventory and the upward pressure it’s putting on prices in several parts of the country. Sales have been unable to break out because there are simply not enough homes for sale.”

Added Yun, “Some of the South region’s decline in closings can be attributed to the devastation Hurricane Harvey caused to the greater Houston area. Sales will be impacted the rest of the year in Houston, as well as in the most severely affected areas in Florida from Hurricane Irma. However, nearly all of the lost activity will likely show up in 2018.”

The median existing-home price(2) for all housing types in August was $253,500, up 5.6 percent from August 2016 ($240,000). August’s price increase marks the 66th straight month of year-over-year gains.

Total housing inventory(3) at the end of August declined 2.1 percent to 1.88 million existing homes available for sale, and is now 6.5 percent lower than a year ago (2.01 million) and has fallen year-over-year for 27 consecutive months. Unsold inventory is at a 4.2-month supply at the current sales pace, which is down from 4.5 months a year ago.

Properties typically stayed on the market for 30 days in August, which is unchanged from July and down from 36 days a year ago. Fifty-one percent of homes sold in August were on the market for less than a month.

Inventory data from realtor.com® reveals that the metropolitan statistical areas where listings stayed on the market the shortest amount of time in August were San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, Calif., 29 days; Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, Wash., 30 days; Vallejo-Fairfield, Calif., 31 days; and San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, Calif., and Salt Lake City, Utah, both at 32 days.

Real Estate Infographic

“Market conditions continue to be stressful and challenging for both prospective first-time buyers and homeowners looking to trade up,” said Yun. “The ongoing rise in home prices is straining the budgets of some of these would-be buyers, and what is available for sale is moving off the market quickly because supply remains minimal in the lower- and mid-price ranges.”

First-time buyers were 31 percent of sales in August, which is down from 33 percent in July and is the lowest share since last August (also 31 percent). NAR’s 2016 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers – released in late 2016(4) – revealed that the annual share of first-time buyers was 35 percent.

According to Freddie Mac, the average commitment rate (link is external) for a 30-year, conventional, fixed-rate mortgage fell to 3.88 percent in August from 3.97 percent in July and is the lowest since November 2016 (3.77 percent). The average commitment rate for all of 2016 was 3.65 percent.

All-cash sales were 20 percent of transactions in August, up from 19 percent in July but down from 22 percent a year ago. Individual investors, who account for many cash sales, purchased 15 percent of homes in August, up from 13 percent in July and 12 percent a year ago.

Distressed sales(6) – foreclosures and short sales – were 4 percent of sales in August, down from 5 percent both in July and a year ago. Three percent of August sales were foreclosures and 1 percent were short sales.

According to President William E. Brown, a Realtor® from Alamo, California, the housing market continues to recover from the depths of the financial crisis. However, the significant household wealth many homeowners have accumulated in recent years through rising home values could be at risk if any of the proposed tax provisions follow through with attempts to marginalize the mortgage interest deduction and eliminate state and local tax deductions.

“Consumers are smart and know that any attempt to cap or limit the deductibility of mortgage interest is essentially a tax on homeownership and the middle class,” said Brown. A study commissioned by NAR (link is external) found that under some tax reform proposals, many homeowners with adjusted gross incomes between $50,000 and $200,000 would see an average tax increase of $815, along with home values shrinking by an average of more than 10 percent. An even steeper decline would be seen in areas with higher property and state income taxes. Congress must keep homeowners in mind as it looks towards tax reform this year.”

Single-family and Condo/Co-op Sales
Single-family home sales decreased 2.1 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.74 million in August from 4.84 million in July, but are still 0.4 percent above the 4.72 million pace a year ago. The median existing single-family home price was $255,500 in August, up 5.6 percent from August 2016.

Existing condominium and co-op sales climbed 1.7 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 610,000 units in August, but are still 1.6 percent below a year ago. The median existing condo price was $237,600 in August, which is 5.4 percent above a year ago.

August existing-home sales in the Northeast jumped 10.8 percent to an annual rate of 720,000, and are now 1.4 percent above a year ago. The median price in the Northeast was $289,500, which is 5.6 percent above August 2016.

In the Midwest, existing-home sales rose 2.4 percent to an annual rate of 1.28 million in August, and are now 0.8 percent above a year ago. The median price in the Midwest was $200,500, up 5.0 percent from a year ago.

Existing-home sales in the South decreased 5.7 percent to an annual rate of 2.15 million in August, and are now 0.9 percent lower than a year ago. The median price in the South was $220,400, up 5.4 percent from a year ago.

Existing-home sales in the West fell 4.8 percent to an annual rate of 1.20 million in August, but are still 0.8 percent above a year ago. The median price in the West was $374,700, up 7.7 percent from August 2016.

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

# # #

NOTE: For local information, please contact the local association of Realtors® for data from local multiple listing services. Local MLS data is the most accurate source of sales and price information in specific areas, although there may be differences in reporting methodology.

1. Existing-home sales, which include single-family, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, are based on transaction closings from Multiple Listing Services. Changes in sales trends outside of MLSs are not captured in the monthly series. NAR rebenchmarks home sales periodically using other sources to assess overall home sales trends, including sales not reported by MLSs.

Existing-home sales, based on closings, differ from the U.S. Census Bureau’s series on new single-family home sales, which are based on contracts or the acceptance of a deposit. Because of these differences, it is not uncommon for each series to move in different directions in the same month. In addition, existing-home sales, which account for more than 90 percent of total home sales, are based on a much larger data sample – about 40 percent of multiple listing service data each month – and typically are not subject to large prior-month revisions.

The annual rate for a particular month represents what the total number of actual sales for a year would be if the relative pace for that month were maintained for 12 consecutive months. Seasonally adjusted annual rates are used in reporting monthly data to factor out seasonal variations in resale activity. For example, home sales volume is normally higher in the summer than in the winter, primarily because of differences in the weather and family buying patterns. However, seasonal factors cannot compensate for abnormal weather patterns.

Single-family data collection began monthly in 1968, while condo data collection began quarterly in 1981; the series were combined in 1999 when monthly collection of condo data began. Prior to this period, single-family homes accounted for more than nine out of 10 purchases. Historic comparisons for total home sales prior to 1999 are based on monthly single-family sales, combined with the corresponding quarterly sales rate for condos.

2. The median price is where half sold for more and half sold for less; medians are more typical of market conditions than average prices, which are skewed higher by a relatively small share of upper-end transactions. The only valid comparisons for median prices are with the same period a year earlier due to seasonality in buying patterns. Month-to-month comparisons do not compensate for seasonal changes, especially for the timing of family buying patterns. Changes in the composition of sales can distort median price data. Year-ago median and mean prices sometimes are revised in an automated process if additional data is received.

The national median condo/co-op price often is higher than the median single-family home price because condos are concentrated in higher-cost housing markets. However, in a given area, single-family homes typically sell for more than condos as seen in NAR’s quarterly metro area price reports.

3. Total inventory and month’s supply data are available back through 1999, while single-family inventory and month’s supply are available back to 1982 (prior to 1999, single-family sales accounted for more than 90 percent of transactions and condos were measured only on a quarterly basis).

4. Survey results represent owner-occupants and differ from separately reported monthly findings from NAR’s Realtors® Confidence Index, which include all types of buyers. Investors are under-represented in the annual study because survey questionnaires are mailed to the addresses of the property purchased and generally are not returned by absentee owners. Results include both new and existing homes.

5. According to NAR’s Realtors® Confidence Index, an average of 62 percent of buyers who financed their purchase with a mortgage made a down payment of 6 percent or less.

6. Distressed sales (foreclosures and short sales), days on market, first-time buyers, all-cash transactions and investors are from a monthly survey for the NAR’s Realtors® Confidence Index, posted at Realtor.org.

NOTE: NAR’s Pending Home Sales Index for August is scheduled for release on September 27, and Existing-Home Sales for September will be released October 20; release times are 10:00 a.m. ET.

Media Contact:

Adam DeSanctis
(202) 383-1178
Email

Redfin: Home Prices Surged 7.7 Percent in August as Inventory Fell 12.4 Percent

Hurricane Harvey sent Houston home sales down 29 percent while new listings tumbled 12 percent

Seattle, WA – September 14, 2017 (BUSINESS WIRE) (NASDAQ: RDFN) — Home prices in August surged 7.7 percent, the largest year-over-year price gain since May 2015, according to Redfin (www.redfin.com), the next-generation real estate brokerage. The national median sale price was $293,000, flat from July. None of the metro areas Redfin tracks saw prices decline in August. The median value of off-market homes in August was $251,000, as measured by the Redfin Estimate, up 0.7 percent from July.

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Sales in August fell 5.5 percent compared to last year, the largest decline posted since July 2016. This follows the 5 percent decline posted in July by the Redfin Housing Demand Index.

The number of homes for sale plunged 12.4 percent, the largest year-over-year decline in a 23-month streak of declining inventory. The number of new listings in August was down 1 percent from a year ago, leaving just 2.8 months of supply. Less than six months of supply signals the market is tilted in favor of sellers.

Chart

Nearly a quarter (24.9%) of homes sold above their list price. The average sale-to-list ratio was 98.5 percent. The typical home that sold in August went under contract in 39 days, two days longer than July’s record-setting pace, typical of a seasonal slowdown.

“The real estate market still favors sellers, with strong demand and rising prices, but perhaps less so now than earlier in the year,” said Redfin CEO Glenn Kelman. “Newly listed homes are selling faster in 2017 than in 2016, but whereas in April the market was nine days faster than the 2016 market, in August it was five; the gap between 2016 and 2017 is narrowing slightly. Normally such differences wouldn’t be worth mentioning, but Redfin managers of coastal markets where demand has been strongest are now reporting that some buyers are stepping back from higher prices.”

Hurricane Harvey’s Impact on the Houston Real Estate Market

Hurricane Harvey sent Houston sales falling 29 percent year over year, as buyers backed out of purchasing flooded homes and home settlements were delayed awaiting required reinspections. Flood damage is limiting the number of homes being listed for sale. New listings declined 12.2 percent compared to last August. Despite the decline in new listings, inventory was still up 5.7 percent compared to last year.

While most real estate activity halted for a few days immediately following the storm, Redfin agents reported rebounding buyer interest, tours and offers in the final days of the month.

Other August Data

Competition

  • Seattle, WA was the fastest market, with nearly half of all homes pending sale in just 8 days, down from 10 days from a year earlier. Portland, OR and Denver, CO were the next fastest markets with 11 and 12 median days on market, followed by Boston, MA (13) and Tacoma, WA (13).
  • The most competitive market in August was San Jose, CA where 73.8% of homes sold above list price, followed by 72.3% in San Francisco, CA, 67.3% in Oakland, CA, 51.3% in Seattle, WA, and 48.1% in Tacoma, WA.

Prices

  • Seattle, WA had the nation’s highest price growth, rising 16% since last year to $522,000. Fort Lauderdale, FL had the second highest growth at 15.6% year-over-year price growth, followed by Cincinnati, OH (14.5%), Las Vegas, NV (14%), and San Jose, CA (13.4%).
  • No metros saw a price decline in August.
  • Detroit, MI had the highest month-over-month increase in the value of off-market homes up 3%, as measured by the Redfin Estimate; this mirrored price growth for on-market homes, up 5.3% year over year.

Sales

  • Columbia, SC saw the largest decline in sales since last year, falling 93.2%. Home sales in Newark, NJ and Houston, TX declined by 75.3% and 29.1%, respectively.
  • 4 out of 75 metros saw sales surge by double digits from last year. Camden, NJ led the nation in year-over-year sales growth, up 22%, followed by Baton Rouge, LA, up 21%. Baltimore, MD rounded out the top three with sales up 19% from a year ago.

Inventory

  • San Jose, CA had the largest decrease in overall inventory, falling 49.9% since last August. Oakland, CA (-31.8%), San Francisco, CA (-30.9%), and Tampa, FL (-26.8%) also saw far fewer homes available on the market than a year ago.
  • Austin, TX had the highest increase in the number of homes for sale, up 13.9% year over year, followed by New Orleans, LA (8.3%) and Houston, TX (5.7%).

Redfin Estimate

  • The median list price-to-Redfin Estimate ratio was 94.1% in San Francisco, the lowest of any market. This indicates the typical home for sale in August was listed at a price 5.9% below its estimated value. Only 8.9% of homes in San Francisco were listed for more than their Redfin Estimate.
  • Conversely, the median list price-to-Redfin Estimate ratio was 103% in Miami, FL and 102.6% in West Palm Beach, which means sellers are listing their homes for more than the estimated value in those metro areas. In Miami, 64.6% of homes were listed above their Redfin Estimate.

To read the full report, complete with data and charts, click here.

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 for listed homes. 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 $50 billion in home sales.

Contacts

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

Pending Home Sales Retreat in August

Washington, D.C. – September 29, 2016 (Realtor.org) After bouncing back in July, pending home sales cooled in August for the third time in four months and to their lowest level since January, according to the National Association of Realtors®.

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The Pending Home Sales Index,* a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings, declined 2.4 percent to 108.5 in August from a downwardly revised 111.2 in July and is now slightly lower (0.2 percent) than August 2015 (108.7). With last month’s decline, the index is now at its second lowest reading this year after January (105.4).

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says suffering supply levels have taken the wind out of the momentum the housing market experienced earlier this year. “Contract activity slackened throughout the country in August except for in the Northeast, where higher inventory totals are giving home shoppers greater options and better success signing a contract,” he said. “In most other areas, an increased number of prospective buyers appear to be either wavering at the steeper home prices pushed up by inventory shortages or disheartened by the competition for the miniscule number of affordable listings.”

According to Yun, evidence is piling up that without more new home construction the current housing recovery could stall. Housing inventory has declined year-over-year for 15 straight months; properties in August typically sold 11 days quicker than in August 2015(1) and after increasing 5.1 percent last month, existing-home prices have risen year-over-year for 54 consecutive months.

“There will be an expected seasonal decline in new listings in coming months, which could accelerate price appreciation and make finding an affordable home even more of a struggle for would-be buyers,” added Yun.

Earlier this month, NAR released a new study that revealed single-family home construction is not keeping pace with job creation and is lacking overall in 80 percent of measured metro areas. When combined with the scant supply levels for existing homes, these tight inventory conditions continue to hamper affordability in many of the largest cities in the country – especially those in the West.

“Given the current conditions, there’s not much room for sales to march again towards June’s peak cyclical sales pace(2),” said Yun.

Following last month’s decline, Yun expects existing-home sales in 2016 to be around 5.36 million, a 2.1 percent increase from 2015 and the highest annual pace since 2006 (6.48 million). The national median existing-home price growth is forecast this year to rise around 4 percent.

Regional Breakdown
The PHSI in the Northeast rose 1.3 percent to 98.1 in August, and is now 5.9 percent above a year ago. In the Midwest the index decreased 0.9 percent to 104.7 in August, and is now 1.7 percent lower than August 2015.

Pending home sales in the South declined 3.2 percent to an index of 119.8 in August and are now 1.5 percent lower than last August. The index in the West fell 5.3 percent in August to 102.8, and is now 0.6 percent lower than a year ago.

The National Association of Realtors®, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America’s largest trade association, representing 1.1 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

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1. According to August’s Realtors® Confidence Index data on typical days on market.

2. Existing-home sales in June were at a seasonally adjusted annualized sales rate of 5.57 million, the highest pace since February 2007 (5.79 million).

* The Pending Home Sales Index is a leading indicator for the housing sector, based on pending sales of existing homes. A sale is listed as pending when the contract has been signed but the transaction has not closed, though the sale usually is finalized within one or two months of signing.

The index is based on a large national sample, typically representing about 20 percent of transactions for existing-home sales. In developing the model for the index, it was demonstrated that the level of monthly sales-contract activity parallels the level of closed existing-home sales in the following two months.

An index of 100 is equal to the average level of contract activity during 2001, which was the first year to be examined. By coincidence, the volume of existing-home sales in 2001 fell within the range of 5.0 to 5.5 million, which is considered normal for the current U.S. population.

NOTE: Existing-Home Sales for September will be reported October 20, the next Pending Home Sales Index will be October 27, and NAR’s 2016 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers will be released on October 31; all release times are 10:00 a.m. ET.

Media Contact:

Adam DeSanctis
(202) 383-1178
Email