Pending Home Sales Dip, Redfin Reports

(Illustration courtesy of Redfin)

Pending home sales fell 4.3% from a year earlier during the four weeks ending May 12, the biggest decline in roughly three months, according to a new report from Redfin.

Pending home sales also posted a week-over-week decline, unusual for early May, Redfin said.

Housing inventory is losing momentum, too, as would-be sellers stay put to hang onto their low mortgage rate. New listings rose 10% year over year, but were essentially flat from a week earlier, which is significant because listings typically increase this time of year, the report said.

“High prices and rates are challenging, but there are ways for buyers to take advantage of the somewhat slow market,” said Marsha McMahon-Jones, a Redfin agent in Palm Springs, Calif. “Sellers know that high mortgage rates mean they should expect negotiations, expect offers to come in under list price, and be ready for some back-and-forth on things like repairs and closing costs. Buyers may not be able to get a lower mortgage rate, but they’re often getting homes for slightly less than the asking price. It’s also a good time to buy a fixer-upper at a lower price point because those aren’t selling as quickly.”

Redfin said the housing market slumped because of sky-high housing costs. The median U.S. home-sale price is up 4.7% year-over-year to a record $386,951, and the median monthly mortgage payment is just $26 shy of the record high at $2,858 set in April.