The median home-sale price increased 17% year over year to $335,613—an all-time high—according to a new report from Redfin (redfin.com), the technology-powered real estate brokerage. However, year-over-year comparisons may more reflect the fact that this time last year, stay-at-home-orders halted both home-buying and selling activity. They don’t necessarily reflect how the housing market has changed over the past year.
Below are other key housing market takeaways for more than 400 U.S. metro areas during the 4-week period ending March 28.
- Asking prices of newly listed homes rose 14% year over year to $353,500, an all-time high.
- Pending home sales were up 38% from the same period in 2020, and up 28% from the same period 2019, which was a more typical year for the housing market. Compared to the previous four-week period, pending sales grew just 0.9%, the smallest growth between two Redfin housing market reports since the four-week period ending February 21, 2019.
- New listings of homes for sale were down 2% from the same period in 2020, and down 5% from the same period in 2019.
- Active listings (the number of homes listed for sale at any point during the period) fell 42% from the same period in 2020 to a new all-time low. This is the largest decrease on record in this data, which goes back through 2016.
- 59% of homes that went under contract had an accepted offer within the first two weeks on the market. This is a new all-time high for this measure since at least 2012 (as far back as Redfin’s data for this measure goes). During the 7-day period ending March 28,
- 61% of homes sold in two weeks or less.
- 47% of homes that went under contract had an accepted offer within one week of hitting the market, an all-time high and up from 33% during the same period a year earlier.
- 41% of homes sold for more than their list price, an all-time high and 16 percentage points higher than the same period a year earlier.
- The average sale-to-list price ratio, which measures how close homes are selling to their asking prices, increased to 100.4%, an all-time high and 2 percentage points higher than a year earlier.
- For the 7-day period ending March 28, the seasonally adjusted Redfin Homebuyer Demand Index—a measure of requests for home tours and other services from Redfin agents—was up 148% from the same period a year ago, when housing demand was near the lowest point it would hit during the pandemic. Compared with the same one week period in 2019, demand is up 57%.
- Mortgage purchase applications decreased 2% week over week (seasonally adjusted) and were up 39% from a year earlier (unadjusted) during the week ending March 26. For the week ending April 1, 30-year mortgage rates increased slightly to 3.18%, the highest level since June.
“Some homebuyers have reached their limit on bidding wars and soaring prices,” said Redfin Chief Economist Daryl Fairweather. “Add to the mix a dwindling number of homes for sale and rising mortgage rates, and the typical family that is still searching for an affordable house may have missed the boat. First-time homebuyers who were already stretching their budgets will have to make bigger compromises on size and location or resign to renting for another year. However, those who are flexible should look to the condo market where there’s still a bit less competition. Looking ahead, Biden’s infrastructure plan aims to incentivize zoning for multifamily homes, which could increase the supply of affordable homes and provide even more people a path to homeownership, but there is no guarantee the incentives would be enough for local governments to change their zoning practices.”