Redfin Report: Home Listings Hit 4-Year High in May, but Demand Didn’t Keep Pace

Recovery Fueled by Investors is Stalled Until Traditional Homebuyers Step Up

Business Wire

SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--

In the first nationwide housing numbers release for May, Redfin (www.redfin.com), the customer-first real estate brokerage, reports a slowdown in the residential housing market after the resilience it showed in April. Most notably, inventory was up 9.1 percent in May, with the highest number of new listings in four years. However, the number of homes sold was down 10 percent. This is surprising to some, given the speculation about extremely low inventory creating intense pent-up demand among buyers who have been waiting for months to buy a home and take advantage of the historically low interest rates.

Perhaps some consolation to buyers is that price increases are continuing to slow, up 8.2 percent in May, which is much closer to a healthy, sustainable rate. At the peak in 2012, prices were increasing at about 20 percent.

“Housing is at an inflection point, where traditional buyers are needed to fill the gap in demand left by waning investors who dominated the market last year,” says Redfin Chief Economist Nela Richardson. “Low wage growth has stunted demand in some metros; others have been plagued by persistently low inventory. Metros that are reversing these trends, with rebounding job growth and inventory increases, will see the resurgence of traditional buyers necessary for stable housing markets.”

             
May-14 Month-Over-Month Change Year-Over-Year Change
 
Median sale price $298,416 3.40% 8.20%
 
Total homes sold 106,864 8.70% -10.00%
 
Homes for sale 497,493 3.90% 9.10%
 
New listings 176,417 3.00% 6.50%
 
Price per square foot $175 0.60% 8.00%
 
Days on market 32 2 -4
 
Sold above list 24.40% 0.60% -7.00%
 

Redfin real estate agents across the country see the shift away from a sellers’ market, with buyers having more power and less competition. Of course, the degree to which this is true varies by region, but many sellers still haven’t read the memo.

“The past two years have been extremely challenging for buyers,” says Redfin Los Angeles-based agent John Venti. “For example, last spring it wasn’t uncommon for homes to have upward of 20 to 30 offers. This year, I’ve seen the market shift in buyers’ favor; they are now having a much easier time finding homes and getting their offers accepted. Demand is still high, but the inventory crunch is easing as more listings hit the market.”

The full report, complete with charts and market-by-market data, is available at the following link. http://www.redfin.com/research/reports/real-time-price-tracker/2014/price-tracker-may-2014.html

About the Real-Time Home Price Tracker

This monthly report on home prices, inventory levels and sales volume is an up-to-date, accurate portrait of the U.S. real estate market, published before other market reports. As a broker with access to dozens of Multiple Listing Services (MLSs) used by real estate agents to list properties and record sales, Redfin gets data within minutes of a sale, pending sale or listing activation, well before any government, media or analytics organization. Full data may be downloaded in a spreadsheet.

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About Redfin

Redfin (www.redfin.com) is a customer-first real estate brokerage that represents people buying and selling homes. Founded and run by technologists, Redfin has a team of experienced, full-service real estate agents who are advocates, not salespeople, earning customer-satisfaction bonuses, not commissions. Redfin.com features all the broker-listed homes for sale, as well as for-sale-by-owner properties that don't pay brokers a commission. Redfin also offers online tools that make the entire process of buying or selling a home easier and more fun. The company serves major markets across the U.S. and has closed more than $13 billion in home sales. In 2012, Redfin was named one of The DIGITAL 100: World's Most Valuable Private Tech Companies by Business Insider.

Contact:
Redfin Journalist Services:
Rachel Musiker, 206-588-6863
press@redfin.com

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