Real Estate

More than half of homes sold above asking price in May

National median home-sale prices up to $377k

Median home-sale prices hit yet another record high in May — up to $377,200, a 26% increase year over year. And 54% of homes sold above their asking price in May — another record high, up from 26% a year ago, according to a new report from Redfin.

The report also shows the housing market also set new records for home-selling speeds and competition, although seasonally adjusted home sales and new listings flattened from April. Leading indicators of housing market activity are also declining into June, signaling that the pace of the market may be slowing, according to Taylor Marr, Redfin lead economist.

“May marked the likely peak of the blazing hot pandemic housing market, as many buyers and sellers are vaccinated and returning to pre-pandemic spending patterns,” Marr said. “Sellers are still squarely in the drivers’ seat, but buyers have hit a limit on their willingness to pay. The affordability boost from low mortgage rates has been offset by high home price growth.”

The number of homes sold in May was up 46% from a year earlier, but was down 0.7% from April. The typical home sold in just 16 days — a record low — and down from 38 days in May 2020. The average sale-to-list ratio, a measure of how close homes are selling to their asking prices, hit a record high of 102.2%.

“In other words, the average home sold for 2.2% above its asking price,” Marr said.

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Roughly 1.33 million homes were listed for sale in May, and 615,800 homes were sold.

Median sale prices also increased from a year earlier in all of the 85 largest metro areas Redfin tracks — partly due to a shift in the mix of homes that are selling toward larger, higher-end properties, Marr said.

The smallest increase was in San Francisco, where prices were up 2.8% from a year ago. The largest price increases were in Austin, (+42%), Phoenix, (+33%) and Detroit (+32%).

“To put Austin’s price increases in context, consider that the sale price of a typical 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom suburban Austin home has increased from around $330,000 in May 2020 to $470,000 in May of 2021,” Marr said.

Austin is still the nation’s hottest housing market, as tech workers continue to flock to the Lone Star State’s capital. In 2021 alone, 1,440 Austin homes have sold for between $100,000 and $299,999 above asking price, and 72 have already sold for $300,000 or more above asking price. At this time last year, only two homes had been sold in Austin for more than $300,000 above asking price.

More than 4,500 homes in Austin have sold for between $25,000 and $99,999 above asking price. Homes are staying on the market in Austin for an average of only 24 days.

Seasonally adjusted active listings — the count of all homes that were for sale at any time during the month — fell 27% year over year to their lowest level on record, and only seven of the 85 largest metros tracked by Redfin posted a year-over-year increase in the number of seasonally adjusted active listings of homes for sale. Philadelphia (+14%), New York (+13%) and San Francisco (+12%) experienced the biggest gains.

New listings fell from a year ago in 18 of the 85 largest metro areas, with the biggest declines in Baton Rouge, Louisiana (-47%) and St. Louis (43%).

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