Welcome news for sellers out from Redfin shows that house hunters are wading into the market amid lower mortgage rates—and in strong numbers!
According to a new data report, Redfin found that mortgage-purchase applications increased for the fourth week in a row and Redfin’s Homebuyer Demand Index–a seasonally adjusted measure of requests to tour homes, make an offer on a home and/or start a home search with a Redfin agent–jumped to its highest level since last May during the week ending March 26.
Google searches for “homes for sale” were up about 44 percent from December during the week ending March 25, but down about 17 percent from a year earlier. Touring activity as of March 26 was up about 20 percent from the start of the year.
Would-be sellers should take note, though, as new supply remains down. Redfin found that new listings of homes for sale declined 22 percent, one of the biggest drops since the start of the pandemic.
Also down, though welcome news for buyers, are prices. Home prices dropped in more than half of the 50 most populous U.S. metros, with the biggest drop in Austin. NorCal hot spots made up the remainder of the top 5 metros with the largest price declines: San Jose, San Francisco, Sacramento and Oakland. Those are the biggest annual declines since at least 2015 for Austin and Sacramento.
On a national level, the median U.S. home-sale price fell 1.8 percent year-over-year to $360,500, marking the sixth straight week of declines after more than a decade of increases.
“Prices are still rising quickly in some places while they are down by double digits in big tech hubs, so it’s important for prospective buyers to work with an expert local agent,” said Redfin Deputy Chief Economist Taylor Marr. “One thing that’s true almost everywhere: It’s difficult to find a desirable, well-priced home for sale, so offer and negotiation strategies differ depending on where you’re looking.”