Home listings hit four-year high

Housing supply improves, but affordability issues persist

Home listings hit four-year high

While housing inventory remains historically low, active listings hit a four-year high in April as properties lingered on the market for longer periods.

According to a new Redfin report, active listings increased by 0.3% from March and 7.5% from a year earlier on a seasonally adjusted basis.

However, the number of homes for sale is still 20% below pre-pandemic levels, mainly because many homeowners are hesitant to sell due to the low mortgage rates they locked in during the pandemic. Last April, new listings were at the lowest level on record aside from the start of the pandemic, contributing to the large year-over-year gain now.

Active listings include homes that have been on the market for some time, while new listings represent homes that were put up for sale during a given month. Nationwide, 43.9% of homes that went under contract in April did so within two weeks of being listed, down from 46.9% a year earlier.

Home sales in April were nearly unchanged from March (up 0.2%) but fell 1.4% compared to a year earlier. Homebuyers face high prices and elevated mortgage rates, with the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate at 6.99% in April. This rate is up from 6.82% in March and 6.34% in April 2023, more than double the all-time low of 2.65% during the pandemic.

The median US home sale price also rose 6.2% year over year in April to a record high of $433,558.

“It’s not all bad news for homebuyers. Mortgage rates are already inching lower in response to this week’s inflation report, which signaled that the Fed may cut interest rates this summer—a possibility that just weeks ago many thought was off the table,” Redfin economics research lead Chen Zhao said. “In certain parts of the country, buyers also have room to negotiate as homes linger on the market, prompting sellers to slash their asking prices and provide concessions.”

In April, 17.6% of homes for sale had a price cut, meaning the seller lowered the asking price after listing the home. This is up 5.6 percentage points from 12.1% a year earlier, marking the biggest gain in over a year.

“Most sellers in Las Vegas are willing to negotiate—anywhere from 5% to 10% off their list price,” said local Redfin Premier agent Fernanda Kriese. “Sellers are offering buyers money for mortgage-rate buydowns, along with other concessions. Homes listed below market value get multiple offers and are snatched up in two to four days, but homes priced $5,000 to $10,000 over market value are sitting for 30 to 60 days longer.”

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Las Vegas, a pandemic boomtown, has seen its housing market cool after the homebuying frenzy of 2021 and 2022. However, other markets remain competitive. In San Jose, CA, three in four homes (75.8%) sold in April went for more than their asking price, up from 61.6% a year earlier and the highest share among the metros Redfin analyzed.

Rochester, NY, followed at 72.8%, and Oakland, CA, at 69.7%. Nationwide, one-third (33.5%) of homes sold in April went for more than their asking price.

A recent Redfin survey found that 74.4% of its agents believe the 2024 housing market is shaping up to be more favorable for sellers than buyers. This sentiment is likely because sellers are fetching record-high prices for their homes. The survey, conducted by Qualtrics in April-May 2024, included responses from roughly 300 Redfin Premier agents.

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