Fewer homes for sale as listings drop
Redfin economist says 'severe lack of inventory' hurting sales
U.S. home sales and new listings both took a hit in September, and the inventory squeeze continues to drive up prices according to the latest data.
Numbers released by Redfin on Friday show closed home sales were down 5% last month from September of last year and new listings were down 9% nationwide.
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"The severe lack of inventory is restricting home sales," Redfin Chief Economist Daryl Fairweather said in a statement. "Even though plenty of people bought homes last year, many homebuyers waited while the pandemic went from bad to worse and remote-work policies were finalized."
"The homebuyers who are just beginning their search are finding that the well has run dry," Fairweather continued. "But I am hopeful that as it becomes easier to get building materials, we will finally have a strong year for new construction in 2022. That's what the market needs more than anything."
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In all but one of the 85 largest metro areas tracked by Redfin, median sale prices were up last month. Nationwide, the year-over-year median price for a home went up 14% to $376,800, the real estate firm reported.
Across the nation, 66 of the metro areas studied saw home sales fall in September, and the cities that saw the greatest tumbles were New Orleans which was down 42%, Bridgeport, Conn., with a drop of 24%, and Salt Lake City where home sales declined by 23%.
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Areas that saw the biggest boosts in sales from a year before were New York City at 25%, Honolulu where sales were up 24%, and San Jose, CA, up 15%.
Meanwhile, the lack of supply continues to drive up competition between buyers, with the number of homes selling above list price hitting 48% in September. That percentage is down from June's record high of 56%, but still 14 percentage points higher than September of 2020.