Redfin Housing Demand Index Dips from January’s Record High

Limited supply is a key factor holding back sales this spring amid overall strong buyer interest

Seattle, WA – March 28, 2017 (BUSINESS WIRE) The Redfin Housing Demand Index decreased 8.5 percent from January’s record high, to a seasonally adjusted level of 118 in February, according to Redfin (www.redfin.com), the next-generation real estate brokerage.

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Despite the dip from the previous month, this was the strongest February for homebuyer demand since at least 2013, the first year measured by the index. 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.

Compared to January, the seasonally adjusted number of buyers requesting tours was down 8.2 percent in February, while the seasonally adjusted number of buyers writing offers was down 7.7 percent.

“The only factor holding back sales this spring is supply,” said Redfin chief economist Nela Richardson. “Limited inventory, particularly for starter homes, has put a crimp in the 2017 market. We expect to see more listings hit the market this spring, but there will still not be enough inventory to match homebuyer demand.”

While lower than January’s all-time high, homebuyer demand in February remained well above levels seen around this time last year. Demand was up 20.0 percent compared to the previous February, led by a 25.7 percent year-over-year increase in homebuyers requesting tours and an 11.9 percent increase in buyers making offers.

February continued a trend of limited selection for homebuyers, who saw 7.2 percent fewer new listings hit the market, and 13.9 percent fewer homes on the market overall than the previous February.

Denver Buyers Out in Full Force Despite Historically Limited Selection

The Denver-area Demand Index was at 166 in February, up 100.4 percent compared to the same time last year. Demand was strong despite inventory 30.7 percent lower than this time last year.

“The Denver metro is seeing incredibly limited selection, with the number of homes for sale down to its lowest level in over 30 years,” said Redfin real estate agent Corey Keach. “But that hasn’t stopped buyers, from whom there is as much, if not more, interest than last year. Add that up, and you have a lot of pressure on the market, with multiple offers basically an expectation, particularly for those single-family homes in price ranges below $500,000. And it’s rare for a non-cash buyer to win any home under $300,000.”

“Homes in higher price points are also seeing strong competition, and even some $1 million and $2 million dollar homes in Boulder are seeing multiple offers. Competition at that price point used to be rare here, which shows just how hot the market is.”

Redfin real estate agents also noted that the problem of limited choice of homes has been worsened by the influx of residents to the Denver area, which is experiencing strong economic growth. With very few residents leaving, the metro’s population is outpacing its housing supply.

For additional national and local data and analysis, including metro-level charts and insights from real estate agents, please visit: 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.

For more information or to contact a local Redfin real estate agent, visit www.redfin.com. To learn about housing market trends and download data, visit the Redfin Data Center.

Contacts

Redfin Journalist Services
Alex Starace
(206) 588-6863
press@redfin.com

California Pending Home Sales Dial Back, Marking Weakest February in Three Years, C.A.R. Reports

Los Angeles, CA – March 22, 2017 (PRNewswire-USNewswire) After a solid start to the year in closed escrow sales, low housing inventory, eroding affordability, and rising interest rates mildly pulled back pending sales on a year-over-year basis in February, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.) said today.

In line with seasonal patterns, REALTORS® responding to C.A.R.’s February Market Pulse Survey** saw elevated market activity, with an increase in floor calls, presentations, and open house traffic for the second month in a row.

CAR

Pending home sales data:

  • Based on signed contracts, statewide pending home sales decreased in February on a seasonally adjusted basis, with the Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI)* declining 2.6 percent from 113.5 in February 2016 to 110.6 in February 2017, marking the weakest February in three years. On a monthly basis, California pending home sales were up 3.2 percent from the January index of 107.2.
  • After leading the state for the past year, non-seasonally adjusted pending home sales in the Southern California region decreased for the first time in nearly a year, slipping 2.8 percent from 97.9 in February 2016 to 95.2 in February 2017. The year-over-year decline was driven by a decrease in pending sales of 2.6 percent in Riverside County, 5.1 percent in San Diego County, 6 percent in Orange County, and 12.2 percent in San Bernardino County. Only Los Angeles County posted a year-over-year improvement in pending sales, but only by a paltry 0.9 percent.
  • For the San Francisco Bay Area as a whole – which has been plagued by a shortage of homes on the market and poor affordability – non-seasonally adjusted pending sales were down year-to-year for the fifth straight month, with every tracked county in the region experiencing a drop in pending sales activity. The Bay Area pending sales index fell 10 percent from 145.2 in February 2016 to 130.6 in February 2017. Santa Cruz and San Francisco counties experienced the largest year-to-year reductions in pending sales of 40.6 percent and 23 percent, respectively. Pending home sales fell 9.2 percent from the previous year in San Mateo County, 7.5 percent in Santa Cruz, and 5.6 percent in Monterey.
  • Pending sales in the Central Valley Region fell 11.4 percent from 86.2 in February 2016 to 76.3 in February 2017. Within Central Valley, pending sales were down 1.6 percent in Kern County and 19.4 percent in Sacramento compared with a year ago.

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

Chart

* Seasonally adjusted

February REALTOR® Market Pulse Survey**:

While pending sales were lower in February, California REALTORS® responding to C.A.R.’s February Market Pulse Survey expect improved market conditions in the near term, as they reported an increase in floor calls, listing appointments, and open house traffic, as well as an increase in multiple offers.

  • The share of homes selling above asking price dipped from 31 percent a year ago to 30 percent in February. Conversely, the share of properties selling below asking price increased to 37 percent from 35 percent in February 2016. The remaining 34 percent sold at asking price, down from 35 percent in February 2016.
  • For homes that sold above asking price, the premium paid over asking price edged up to 12 percent, up from 11 percent a year ago.
  • The 38 percent of homes that sold below asking price sold for an average of 14 percent below asking price in February, compared to 13 percent a year ago.
  • Nearly three-fourths of properties for sale (71 percent) received multiple offers in February, down from 75 percent in February 2016.
  • The share of properties receiving three or more offers in February was 47 percent, compared to 48 percent a year ago.
  • The share of homes priced $500,000 to $749,000 posted the largest gain in receiving three or more offers, rising from 9 percent in February 2016 to 12 percent in February 2017.
  • As prices fell more in line with the market, listing price reductions declined to 22 percent in February, down from 26 percent in February 2016.
  • Rising for the sixth straight month, a lack of available inventory was the top concern for 40 percent of REALTORS®, the highest level in a year. Eroding housing affordability/high interest rates concerned 32 percent of REALTORS®. Inflated home prices/housing bubble was cited by 14 percent of REALTORS®. A slowdown in economic growth, lending and financing, and policy and regulations rounded out REALTORS®’ remaining biggest concerns.
  • REALTORS®’ expectation of market conditions over the next year edged up in February to an index of 68, up from an index of 64 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. Approximately 300 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 185,000 members dedicated to the advancement of professionalism in real estate. C.A.R. is headquartered in Los Angeles.

Florida’s Housing Market Continues to Show Rising Prices in February 2017

Orlando, FL – March 22, 2017 (PRNewswire) Florida’s housing market continued to report a tight supply of homes for sale and rising median prices in February, according to the latest housing data released by Florida Realtors®. Sales of single-family homes statewide remained relatively flat last month, totaling 18,033, down only 0.5 percent compared to February 2016.

Florida Realtors

“Florida’s economy is growing, with more jobs being created,” said 2017 Florida Realtors President Maria Wells, broker-owner with Lifestyle Realty Group in Stuart. “And a growing economy boosts the state’s housing sector as well. However, many local markets are reporting low inventory of for-sale homes at a time of increasing buyer demand. For sellers, it’s a good time to list their homes, as they continue to get more of their original asking price at the closing table. In February, sellers of existing single-family homes received 95.8 percent (median percentage) of their original listing price, while those selling townhouse-condo properties received 94.7 percent.

“In these kinds of market conditions, serious home buyers must be prepared to act fast, and work closely with a local Realtor to find the right home for their needs and their budget.”

The statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes last month was $225,000, up 12.5 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 February was $167,500, up 11.7 percent over the year-ago figure. February marked the 63rd 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 January 2016 was $230,400, up 7.3 percent from the previous year; the national median existing condo price was $217,400. In California, the statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes in January was $489,580; in Massachusetts, it was $330,000; in Maryland, it was $261,868; and in New York, it was $250,000.

Looking at Florida’s townhouse-condo market, statewide closed sales totaled 7,949 last month, up 4.1 percent compared to February 2016. Closed sales data reflected fewer short sales and cash-only sales last month: Short sales for townhouse-condo properties declined 39.6 percent while short sales for single-family homes also dropped 39.6 percent. Closed sales may occur from 30- to 90-plus days after sales contracts are written.

“Florida’s market for existing single-family homes in February continued to perform in line with what we’ve seen over the past year and a half,” said Florida Realtors® Chief Economist Dr. Brad O’Connor. “Due primarily to fewer distressed properties on the market, sales of single-family homes edged down. However, non-distressed sales of single-family homes were up almost 10 percent year-over-year, showing that the traditional market – as opposed to the niche distressed market – is healthy and continues to grow.

“Meanwhile, Florida’s condo and townhouse sales are off to very good start in 2017. Coming off a 6.2 percent year-over-year increase in January, condo and townhouse sales rose 4.1 percent year-over-year in February. For perspective, the last time statewide condo and townhouse sales rose on a year-over-year basis for two consecutive months was in August and September of 2015.”

For the second consecutive month, inventory remained at a tight 4.2-months’ supply in February for single-family homes, and was at a 6.4-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 4.17 percent in February 2016, up significantly from the 3.66 percent average recorded during the same month a year earlier.

To see the full statewide housing activity reports click here or download the February 2017 data report PDFs under Market Data at: media.floridarealtors.org.

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.