Homebuyers unfazed by cold weather and worsening pandemic.
Key housing market takeaways for 400+ U.S. metro areas during the 4-week period ending December 6:
- The median home sale price increased 15% year over year to $322,000, the highest on record.
- Pending home sales were up 31% year over year. Even though many more homes are selling than last year, sales are still experiencing a seasonal cooldown and have declined 25% since early October. In the single week ending December 6, pending sales were up 29% from the same week a year earlier.
- New listings of homes for sale were up 12% from a year earlier.
- Active listings (the number of homes listed for sale at any point during the period) fell 30% from 2019 to a new all-time low.
- 40% of homes that went under contract had an accepted offer within the first two weeks on the market. This measure has experienced some slight seasonal cooling, but is still well above the 27% it was at this same time a year ago.
- The average sale-to-list price ratio, which measures how close homes are selling to their asking prices, rose to 99.5%—an all-time high and 1.5 percentage points higher than a year earlier.
- For the week ending December 6, the seasonally adjusted Redfin Homebuyer Demand Index—based on tour requests and requests for service from a Redfin agent—was up 37% from pre-pandemic levels in January and February. The fact that this measure has held relatively steady since July indicates that there is no shortage of people interested in buying homes, but a decline in the number of listings may be depressing actual sales.
- Mortgage purchase applications decreased 5% week over week (seasonally-adjusted) and were up 22% from a year earlier (unadjusted) during the week ending December 4. For the week ending December 10, 30-year mortgage rates were flat at 2.71%, the all-time low. Rates have been below 3% since late July.
“Buyers are still out looking for homes despite the worsening pandemic and the colder weather,” said Redfin chief economist Daryl Fairweather. “The problem is, there aren’t enough homes for sale. With buyers this eager now, I expect the housing market will really pop immediately after New Year’s Day, especially as more homeowners decide to list.”
“The market is out of control right now,” said Cleveland Redfin agent Chris Avery. “There are so many people moving to Cleveland lately from other parts of the country. I’m working with buyers from New York State, Chicago, San Diego and Arizona. It is wildly competitive for homebuyers, every offer I write faces competition.”