The red-hot housing market shows no signs of cooling off, and is prompting agents to sell homes off-market by using a controversial practice known as "whisper" listings.
According to the same report that declared this record-breaking market phrase as "red-hot," houses are under contract, on average, less than a week after being listed. Real-estate listing company Zillow reported that, based on information collected during the month of May, houses are staying on the market just six whole days before being bought.
But mainstream listing companies aren't home to every piece of real estate.
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FOX Business' Ashley Webster joined "Varney & Co" from Miami Beach, Florida, Thursday, to report on the "whisper listing" phenomenon - an alternative sale method gaining traction, especially in the Sunshine State.
A whisper listing — referred to by some as "pocket listings"— is a residential property released directly to an exclusive broker who allows specific clientele to view the home. Pocket listings go up for sale, but aren't listed on an area's multiple listing service (MLS), a private database that real estate agents use to share information.
"It's all done behind closed doors… There is no publication, there is no public listing," Webster explained to host Stuart Varney.
According to Redfin, the number of whisper listings has increased from 2.4% to 4.0% since November 2019 and shows no signs of slowing as listings continue to surge this year.
However, the practice is not always successful.
Webster spoke with real estate "agent to the stars" Liz Hogan about an instance where a "whisper listing" wasn't effective.
"It didn't work, and so we put it on the market," Hogan told Webster. "Luckily, the market's been appreciating dramatically in Florida as everybody knows — we've had multiple offers on the property, but he's holding firm to his price."
Despite the housing market seeing an uptick in inventory as of late, Zillow found that there was a 3.9% increase from April to May, reportedly marking the first sign of growth since July 2020.
What’s more, buyers are racing to edge out competitors with limited options. The U.S. is nearly four million homes short of what is needed to meet buyer demand, according to a recent report from Freddie Mac.