More than Half of Homes Selling Above List Price

The national median home-sale price hit a record high $377,200 in May, up 26% year over year, reported Redfin, Seattle.

The report said the housing market also set records for home-selling speeds and competition, but seasonally adjusted home sales and new listings flattened from April. Leading indicators of housing market activity also declined into June, signaling the pace of the market may be slowing.

The following measures all hit records in Redfin’s data, which goes back through 2012:

–Homes for sale fell to a record low, down 27% from 2020.

–The typical home sold in just 16 days, down from 38 days a year ago.

–54% of homes sold above their list price, up from 26% a year ago.

–The average sale-to-list ratio, or how close homes are selling to their asking prices, hit a record high 102.2%.

Redfin Lead Economist Taylor Marr noted pandemic-driven lockdowns significantly slowed homebuying and selling a year ago, exaggerating this month’s trends.

“May marked the likely peak of the blazing hot pandemic housing market, as many buyers and sellers are vaccinated and returning to pre-pandemic spending patterns,” Marr said. “Sellers are still squarely in the drivers’ seat, but buyers have hit a limit on their willingness to pay. The affordability boost from low mortgage rates has been offset by high home price growth.”

The report said median sale prices increased from a year earlier in all 85 largest metro areas Redfin tracks, partly due to a shift in the mix of homes that are selling toward larger, higher-end properties. The smallest increase took place in San Francisco, where prices rose by 2.8% from a year ago. The largest price increases took place in Austin, Texas (42%), Phoenix (33%) and Detroit (32%).

Marr said to put Austin’s price increases in context, consider that the sale price of a typical three-bedroom, two-bathroom suburban Austin home has increased from around $330,000 in May 2020 to $470,000 in May 2021.

Redfin reported the number of homes sold in May rose by 46% from a year earlier, but dropped by 0.7% from April. From a year ago, home sales rose in all 85 metro areas.

Seasonally adjusted active listings—the count of all homes for sale at any time during the month—fell 27% year over year to their lowest level on record. Only seven of the 85 largest metros tracked by Redfin posted a year-over-year increase in the number of seasonally adjusted active listings of homes for sale. Seasonally adjusted new listings of homes for sale rose by 12% in May from a year earlier, but fell by 14% from the same time in 2019. New listings fell from a year ago in 18 of the 85 largest metro areas.

Marr noted although sales slowed slightly, the housing market was once again more competitive in May than any time since 2012. The typical home that sold in May went under contract in 16 days—less than half as much time as a year earlier, when homes sold in a median 38 days.