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Pending U.S. Home Sales Drop for the First Time Since June 2020


Pending U.S. Home Sales Drop for the First Time Since June 2020

U.S. home buyers continue to snap up properties at a record pace, with 45% of homes selling within two weeks on the market, according to a report Thursday from Redfin. 

In addition, 35% are spoken for within one week, according to the data for the four weeks ending Sunday. Both rates are records for this time of the year, according to the real estate website and brokerage. 

At the same time, pending home sales were down 1% during the same time period, the first annual decline since June 2020, the report said. 

A lack of inventory has stymied sales, not a lack of buyers. New home listings registered their largest drop since June 2020, declining 12% in the last four-week period compared to a year ago, the figures showed. In addition, total available inventory fell 29% year over year, dropping to an all-time low of 440,000.

“The early spring is poised to be the hottest housing market on record,” said Daryl Fairweather, Redfin’s chief economist.“We may start to see most homes going under contract within two weeks.”

However, she predicts that could be “short-lived.”

“Now that the stock market is down about 10% from the start of the year and mortgage rates are up nearly half a point, the housing market could lose its luster soon,” she continued. “If that happens, I expect the inventory shortage to finally reach its nadir because overpriced homes will start to pile up on the market.”

Meanwhile, the median listing price of a home was up 11.7% in the week ending Jan. 22, according to a separate report from Realtor.com, released Thursday. That’s the sixth consecutive week of double-digit gains, as well as the largest jump in prices since July.

“Despite—and perhaps even because of—rising mortgage rates, buyers have entered the 2022 housing market ready to compete,” Danielle Hale, Realtor.com’s chief economist, said in the report. “Between looming rate hikes, rising home prices and surging rents, today’s home shoppers have plenty of motivation to close while monthly costs might still be affordable.”


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