Would-Be Home Sellers Slow to Return Despite Buyer Demand

August 10, 2020

By: PR NewsWire

TAMPA, Fla. – Newly pending sales remain well above last year’s level, according to Zillow’s Weekly Market Report. They fell for the second week running in week-over-week numbers, but other measures continue to show a fast-moving market that favors sellers, indicating the recent dip has more to do with a lack of inventory than waning interest from potential buyers. In the rental market, renters and landlords are entering an uncertain period after some added unemployment benefits expired at the end of July. 

“Record-low mortgage rates are helping fuel a brisk pace of home sales later into this summer than normal, but buyers are having to compete over fewer and fewer listings,” said Zillow economist Jeff Tucker. “The flow of new listings has recovered somewhat, but not fast enough to replace all the recent sales, so inventory continues to plumb new record lows. There’s no single reason sellers have been slow to return, but some possibilities include reluctance to having strangers tour their home; concerns about difficulty getting their next home and an assumption that they couldn’t sell for a high price right now.”

Newly pending sales fell last week, but other indicators show a hot market

  • Newly pending sales fell 0.9% week over week, but remain 13.8% higher than the same period a year ago. 
  • Homes that went under contract last week were typically on the market for 14 days. That’s 11 days faster than last year. 
  • The share of listings with a price cut held steady at 4.2%, which is 1.3 percentage points lower than a year ago. It’s remained at that share for the past four weeks.

Sellers are still holding back

  • New for-sale listings fell 3.6% week over week and were 15.8% lower than the previous year as would-be sellers continue to largely stay out of the market. That is an improvement from past months — new listings were down 16.5% annually in the week ending April 1, and down 24.7% in the week ending July 1.  
  • Total listings are down 26.9% from a year ago, and down 0.9% from a week earlier. 

List prices reach new yearly high

  • The median list price in the U.S. continues to grow, now at $343,680, 6.6% higher than last year. 
  • During the week ending June 20, the median sale price was $266,805. That’s 1.4% higher than a year prior. 
  • The gap between list prices and sale prices does not necessarily mean homes are selling for well under their list price. The most-expensive homes often take longer to sell than more-affordable homes, and they help push the median list price up while they linger on the market. 

Uncertainty ahead for the rental market as some aid expires

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