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Lead Analyst Logan Mohtashami discusses his recent article on the latest jobs report and the most likely impact on the housing market and mortgage forbearance.

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Fintech

RedfinNow launches in Boston as local prices soar

Homes list for around $800K in New England metro

RedfinNow, the iBuying platform of Redfin, has launched in Boston — and not a minute too soon, as the New England-metro’s housing market reaches new heights.

The company announced it is currently making offers on single-family properties built after 1900 in parts of Middlesex, Norfolk, and Plymouth counties.

Jason Aleem, RedfinNow vice president, noted that Boston home prices grew by double-digits in March, but the area can be tricky for sellers who also need to buy.

“We hope this will make it easy for our customers to get a strong offer for their current home so they have the money to buy their next, and the flexibility to line up their closings so they only need to move once,” Aleem said.

Since the beginning of the year, Boston has been one of the most competitive metros to buy a home in. Online lending marketplace LendingTree ranked it #7 among the 50 most competitive metro areas in the U.S. based on specific financial criteria of homebuyers, ahead of New York.

The median listing price of homes in Boston is currently $799,000, with median sale prices hovering around $718,000 per Zillow and Realtor.com.

It’s only going to get harder to close on a home in 2021, said Tendayi Kapfidze, LendingTree chief economist.

“Buyers should be wary of feeling pressure to buy a home because of how competitive a market is,” said Kapfidze. “Buyers remorse on a home purchase happens often, and can affect emotional and financial wellness. Record low rates over the past year due to the COVID crisis have worsened the supply picture in an interesting way. Homeowners who refinanced now have rates that lock them in, as selling and purchasing another home would mean giving up their record low rate.”

Redfin announced in March that RedfinNow would be expanding into the Baltimore – Washington, D.C. area, joining its footholds in in Arizona, California, Colorado, Texas and Washington. Aleem noted that expansion was important, saying at the time it’s “become the norm” for homeowners to compare what they could get for the home with an instant sale, versus the price it would fetch on the open market in the current condition.

The average down payment percentage in the top 11 most competitive metros was 21%, per LendingTree’s data. In those 11 metros, 62% of buyers shopped around for a mortgage before looking for a home. Across the 50 largest metros in the country, that number was 64%.

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