New listings spiked nearly twice as fast in the four weeks ending May 15 compared to last year’s listings numbers.
Sellers Rushing to List
Fear of missing out (FOMO) of the still red-hot market is motivating sellers to list their properties before the market significantly cools off.
According to Realtor.com, the supply of for-sale homes vaulted +9% y/y last week, the largest annual inventory gain the company has measured since it started tracking this metric in 2017.
Redfin confirmed Realtor.com’s supply gain by reporting that new listings soared nearly twice as fast in the four weeks ending May 15 as they did comparatively year-over-year.
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Redfin’s Chief Economist Daryl Fairweather said, “Rising mortgage rates have caused the housing market to shift, and now home sellers are in a hurry to find a buyer before demand weakens further.”
On top of sales volume softening, pending home sales fell nearly -4% m/m. On a year-over-year comparison, pending home sales plunged just over -9% from April 2021, according to the National Association of REALTORS (NAR).
Because NAR’s Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI) measures signed contracts on existing homes while excluding signed contracts on newly built homes, the PHSI is considered to be “…the most timely indicator of how buyers are reacting to higher mortgage rates,” according to CNBC.
This latest PHSI marked the sixth consecutive month of declining existing-home sales as well as the slowest pace of existing-home sales in almost a decade.
Additionally, new-home sales plunged -16% m/m, according to the US Census.
Rising Interest Rates Only Exacerbate High Home Prices
The Federal Reserve’s about-face on fiscal policy to combat 40-year high inflation rates of approximately 8.3% is definitely playing havoc on home sales due to fast-rising mortgage rates. The average rate on the popular 30-year fixed-rate mortgage jumped from 3% at the beginning of 2022 to 5.49% today.
Clearly, the days of historically low interest rates that nearly offset pandemic-inspired soaring home prices are now past tense.
We’ll repost the data on “the evolution of a $300,000 house” published last week to emphasize the effect of rising home prices and rising mortgage rates has on potential homebuyers over a three-year period:
Home Price 30-Yr. Fixed Rate Monthly Payment
2019 $300,000 4.33% $1,192
2020 $315,000 (+5%) 3.41% $1,119
2021 $362,250 (+15%) 3.15% $1,245
2022 $438,322 (+21%) 5.5% $1,991
Sellers Now Seeing Less Competition Among Buyers
Redfin’s demand index tool that measures requests for home tours and other homebuying services dropped -8% y/y during the week ending May 15. Redfin indicated that this drop of -8% in homebuyer demand is the largest drop in demand since April 2020 when the pandemic essentially shut down most homebuying activity.
Homeowners who were quite adamant about not listing their homes just a few months ago are now telling their agents things like, “We joke we might be getting out of here…just at the right time. I wouldn’t want to wait any longer.”
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Thanks to CNBC.