Today’s housing market is changing so fast, it’s hard to keep up. To help, we’ve kicked off “How’s the Housing Market This Week?” In this new series, we highlight the latest facts and figures to know right now. From the number of listings to home prices to mortgage rates and more, here are the latest updates on where these crucial indicators stand—and are heading—so that homebuyers and sellers can stay ahead of the curve.
Home prices are still soaring
The latest June data from Realtor.com® places the median home price nationwide at a record-setting $450,000. And, for the week ending July 16 (the most recent research available), home prices shot up by 16.6% compared with the same week last year. That’s 31 straight weeks of double-digit price growth, which helps explain the heart palpitations homebuyers have been feeling for the past eight months.
But this run-up can’t go on forever, with Danielle Hale, chief economist for Realtor.com, predicting “we’ll eventually see renewed slowing in price growth.” When that will happen is still anyone’s guess.
The number of homes for sale is getting stale
For the week ending July 16, new listings dropped by 3% year over year—the second straight week of declines. Hale theorizes this downward dip comes from panicked home sellers worried that the bacchanalian seller’s market that has showered them in bidding wars over the past two years might be waning.
“If sellers get spooked that they’ve ‘missed the peak’—a question I’ve been asked more times than I can count lately—the market will stagnate,” warns Hale.
Meanwhile, housing inventory overall rose by 29% over a year earlier, but with new listings dwindling, a larger portion of these homes for sale are “stale” ones that many buyers have already picked through and passed over. This might help explain why the share of homes that slashed their list price reached 14.9% in June versus 7.6% a year earlier.
All in all, this is bad news for home sellers, but good news for homebuyers desperate for a deal, although they’ll have to act fast (more on why next).
Homes are selling a tiny bit faster, but not much
For the week ending July 16, homes lingered on the market one day less than the same period last year. Given the typical home spends just 32 days on the market, this means the clock is truly ticking.
Mortgage rates are up, too
According to Freddie Mac, for the week ending July 21, the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate crept to 5.54%. That’s up from the previous week’s average of 5.51%, as well as the earlier week’s 5.3%.
And odds are, rates will continue upward as the Federal Reserve fights inflation by raising short-term interest rates.
“Buyers should rate-test their budgets, so that they know how to react in case mortgage rates climb again, as they are likely to do heading into the fall,” says Hale.
Here’s how buyers can figure out how much home they can afford.
Watch: How Much Do You Need To Save for a $500,000 Home?
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