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Classified in: Science and technology
Subjects: Product/Service, Economic News/Analysis

Redfin Report: The Spring 2023 Homebuying Season Never Happened

(NASDAQ: RDFN) ? As spring turns into summer, it's official: The traditionally hot spring homebuying season didn't come to fruition in 2023. That's according to a new report from Redfin (redfin.com), the technology-powered real estate brokerage. This year, instead of the calendar determining the homebuying season, the Federal Reserve is dictating when people buy and sell. And so far, the Fed's actions are suggesting they wait.

Pending home sales fell 16% from a year earlier during the four weeks ending June 18. But even though sales are relatively tepid, Redfin's Homebuyer Demand Index?a measure of requests for tours and other early-stage buying services from Redfin agents?is up 11% year over year. Additionally, there are more house hunters than there are homes hitting the market. New listings of homes for sale are down 24% from a year ago, and the total number of homes for sale is down 8%, the biggest drop in over a year.

Elevated mortgage rates are responsible for the drops on both the demand and supply sides. With average rates sitting above 6% all spring, pushing the typical U.S. monthly housing payment up near record highs, many would-be buyers are sitting on the sidelines, waiting for rates to come down. And the buyers who are out there are having a hard time finding listings, with many prospective sellers staying put, hanging onto their relatively low rates: Nearly all homeowners with a mortgage have a rate below 6%.

The continuing inventory shortage is bolstering home prices. The median U.S. home-sale price dropped just 1% year over year this week, the smallest decline in more than three months. On a local level, prices have started leveling off: They fell in 25 of the 50 most populous metros, compared with 29 a month ago. In San Jose, CA, for instance, the median sale price is up roughly 2% year over year, marking the first increase after eight straight months of declines.

"There are two things that would jumpstart the housing market: A big drop in mortgage rates and/or a big surge of new listings," said Redfin Deputy Chief Economist Taylor Marr. "Neither of those things happened this spring; instead, rates rose and new listings dropped to record lows. And with one or two more interest-rate hikes expected this year, mortgage rates are likely to remain elevated at least through the summer, continuing to limit both demand and supply."

"But even though there wasn't much of a spring homebuying season this year, there was a spring building season," Marr continued. "That means there's hope for more listings somewhat soon, with homebuilders working to fill the inventory bucket. Builders broke ground on more single-family homes in May than almost any month in nearly two decades, which could expand buyers' options by the end of the year."

Leading indicators of homebuying activity:

Key housing market takeaways for 400+ U.S. metro areas:

Unless otherwise noted, this data covers the four-week period ending June 18. Redfin's weekly housing market data goes back through 2015. For bullets that include metro-level breakdowns, Redfin analyzed the 50 most populous U.S. metros. Select metros may be excluded from time to time to ensure data accuracy.

To view the full report, including charts, please visit: https://www.redfin.com/news/housing-market-update-spring-homebuying-season-never-happened

About Redfin

Redfin (www.redfin.com) is a technology-powered real estate company. We help people find a place to live with brokerage, rentals, lending, title insurance, and renovations services. We sell homes for more money and charge half the fee. We also run the country's #1 real estate brokerage site. Our home-buying customers see homes first with on-demand tours, and our lending and title services help them close quickly. Customers selling a home in certain markets can have our renovations crew fix up their home to sell for top dollar. Our rentals business empowers millions nationwide to find apartments and houses for rent. Customers who buy and sell with Redfin pay a 1% listing fee, subject to minimums, less than half of what brokerages commonly charge. Since launching in 2006, we've saved customers more than $1.5 billion in commissions. We serve more than 100 markets across the U.S. and Canada and employ over 5,000 people.

For more information or to contact a local Redfin real estate agent, visit www.redfin.com. To learn about housing market trends and download data, visit the Redfin Data Center. To be added to Redfin's press release distribution list, email [email protected]. To view Redfin's press center, click here.

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