According to a new report from Redfin, the U.S. housing market during the four-week period ending August 23 was marked by strong sales and price growth, with the seasonally adjusted Redfin Homebuyer Demand Index up 29% from pre-pandemic levels in January and February.
Additionally, the number of new listings was up 4.1% from a year earlier – the strongest gain since March – but still down significantly (28%) from the same period a year ago. Active listings have been down 20% or more from a year earlier since the four-week period ending May 31.
Pending home sales for the four-week period were once again much higher than the same time in 2019, up 20% despite an ongoing seasonal decline over the past few weeks. This was the largest year-over-year increase in pending sales since the four weeks ending October 25, 2015.
Because growth in home-buying demand (as measured by pending sales, up 20%) continues to dwarf growth in supply (as measured by new listings, up 4%), there seems to be no end in sight to the upward pressure on home prices.
Home prices were up 11% from a year earlier for the four-week period ending August 23. In 2018 and 2019, the median home sale price peaked during the four-week period ending in the first week of July, declining 2.4% and 1.9% between that period and mid-August. This year over that same period, home prices have increased 5.6%.
Buyers in the market today will find homes selling more quickly and closer to list price than ever before. Of homes that went under contract during the four weeks ending August 23, 46.6% found a buyer within two weeks of hitting the market – the highest level Redfin has seen since at least 2012 (as far back as its data is available). During the same period last year, 32.5% of homes found a buyer within two weeks.
The average sale-to-list price ratio increased again to a new record high of 99.2% – meaning homes are selling closer than ever to their list price – up from 98.3% during the same period last year. Year-over-year changes of nearly a full percentage point in this measure are very rare – last seen in early 2013 as the housing market was finally bouncing off the post-recession bottom.
To view the full report, click here.