Housing Market Update: Listings Tick Up, But Buyers Back Off

by Real estate financingMission+
10 minutes read

New listings have inched up this fall, giving the buyers who remain in the market a few more homes to choose from. But many buyers are retreating as mortgage rates stay elevated.

What home sellers are doing: A few more homeowners are putting their homes on the market, despite being locked into relatively low mortgage rates. New listings of U.S. homes for sale have ticked up 2% since the start of September, and listings haven’t fallen as much from summer to fall as they typically do. The total number of homes for sale is down 14% from a year earlier during the four weeks ending October 8, but that’s the smallest decline since July.

Advice for sellers: Take advantage of still-rising prices; the median sale price is up 3% year over year despite low demand. But with the share of for-sale homes with a price drop at its highest level in nearly a year and high mortgage rates cutting into buyers’ budgets, be mindful of setting a fair price. “Inventory is low enough that most move-in ready, well-priced homes are going quickly,” said Nashville, TN Redfin Premier agent Kristin Sanchez. “But sellers who are pricing unrealistically high are seeing their homes sit on the market, and many are forced to accept offers under asking price. My best advice: Price your home fairly so it sells as fast as possible.” 

What homebuyers are doing: Retreating as mortgage rates sit near their highest level in more than two decades and the median U.S. monthly mortgage payment approaches $3,000. Mortgage-purchase applications inched up slightly this week, but they’re still near their lowest level in nearly 30 years, and Redfin’s Homebuyer Demand Index—which measures tour requests and other early-stage demand signals—dropped to its lowest level in nearly a year.

Advice for buyers: All hope is not lost for people who want to buy a home soon. Even though mortgage rates are likely to remain elevated, buyers on the fence may consider jumping into the market when there’s a small reprieve: Along with the small uptick in new listings to choose from, daily average rates have come down some from the peak they reached last week. “Despite last week’s hotter-than-expected jobs report, rates have fallen after the Fed signaled this week that it is unlikely to hike interest rates again and war broke out in Israel,” said Redfin Economic Research Lead Chen Zhao. “Buyers should also remember that the average mortgage rate in the news is just that: an average. Many buyers can secure a lower rate by shopping around; the difference between rates among lenders is bigger when rates are higher. Buying down a mortgage rate is always an option, too.”

Leading indicators

Indicators of homebuying demand and activity
Value (if applicable) Recent change Year-over-year change Source
Daily average 30-year fixed mortgage rate 7.6% (Oct. 11) Down from last week’s two-decade peak of 7.81%  Up from 7.1% Mortgage News Daily 
Weekly average 30-year fixed mortgage rate 7.49% (week ending Oct. 5) Highest level in over 2 decades Up from 6.7% Freddie Mac
Mortgage-purchase applications (seasonally adjusted) Up 1% from a week earlier (as of week ending Oct. 6) Down 19% Mortgage Bankers Association
Redfin Homebuyer Demand Index (seasonally adjusted) Down slightly from a month earlier (as of the 4 weeks ending Oct. 8) to its lowest level in nearly a year Down 5% Redfin Homebuyer Demand Index, a measure of requests for tours and other homebuying services from Redfin agents
Google searches for “home for sale” Down 12% from a month earlier (as of Oct. 7) Down 12% Google Trends 

Key housing-market data

U.S. highlights: Four weeks ending October 8, 2023

Redfin’s national metrics include data from 400+ U.S. metro areas, and is based on homes listed and/or sold during the period. Weekly housing-market data goes back through 2015. Subject to revision. 

Four weeks ending October 8, 2023 Year-over-year change Notes
Median sale price $370,000 2.7% Prices are up partly because elevated mortgage rates were hampering prices during this time last year
Median asking price $388,223 5.2% Biggest increase in a year
Median monthly mortgage payment $2,736 at a 7.49% mortgage rate 10% Just shy of the all-time high set a week earlier
Pending sales 73,943 -11.6%
New listings 81,964 -3.9% Smallest decline since July 2022, in part because new listings fell rapidly at this time in 2022
Active listings 827,406 -14% Tied with the previous week for smallest decline in four months
Months of supply  3.2 months +0.2 pts.  4 to 5 months of supply is considered balanced, with a lower number indicating seller’s market conditions. 
Share of homes off market in two weeks  39.5% Up from 36%
Median days on market 32 -2  days
Share of homes sold above list price 30.7% Up from 30%
Share of homes with a price drop 6.8% +0.2 pts.  Highest level in a year
Average sale-to-list price ratio  99.3% +0.3 pts. 

 

Metro-level highlights: Four weeks ending October 8, 2023

Redfin’s metro-level data includes the 50 most populous U.S. metros. Select metros may be excluded from time to time to ensure data accuracy. 

Metros with biggest year-over-year increases Metros with biggest year-over-year declines Notes
Median sale price Anaheim, CA (13.5%)

San Jose, CA (11%)

New Brunswick, NJ (10.5%)

Providence, RI (10.2%)

West Palm Beach, FL (9.9%)

Austin, TX (-4.1%)

San Antonio, TX (-2.5%)

Houston, TX (-2.1%)

Las Vegas (-0.9%)

Dallas, TX (-0.6%)

Fort Worth, TX (-0.5%)

Phoenix (-0.4%)

New York, NY (-0.4%)

Portland, OR (-0.4%)

Declined in 9 metros (in 6 of those metros, the decline was smaller that 1%)
Pending sales West Palm Beach, FL (7.7%)

Orlando, FL (5.5%)

San Jose, CA (4.3%)

New Brunswick, NY (-32.9%)

New York (-32.9%)

Portland, OR (-24.6%)

Atlanta (-20.8%)

Providence, RI (-20.7%)

Declined in all but 3 metros
New listings West Palm Beach, FL (17%)

Orlando, FL (16%)

Miami, FL (14.8%)

Jacksonville, FL (11.3%)

Fort Lauderdale, FL (10.2%)

Atlanta (-26.9%)

Anaheim, CA (-14.5%)

Portland, OR (-13.5%)

Newark, NJ (-13,4%)

Seattle (-12.8%)

Declined in all but 10 metros. 5 biggest increases all in Florida. 

Refer to our metrics definition page for explanations of all the metrics used in this report.

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