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U.S. Heads Into Spring Buying Season With Homes Already Selling at a Blistering Pace

U.S. home buyers are at risk of being left in the dust, as the country’s property market moves at a blistering pace that ranks as the fastest on record, according to a report Friday from Redfin.

Homes sold faster than ever during the four weeks ending Sunday, with 57% of properties that found buyers during that time doing so within two weeks of hitting the market, said the online property portal, which has been tracking data since 2012.

At the same time, 44% of homes that went under contract had an accepted offer within one week of hitting the market.

Besides homes selling at a breakneck pace, buyers are also braving record-high asking prices. The median asking price of a newly listed home soared 16% year over year to $381,000, up 26% from the same time in 2020, which was before the pandemic.

Driving up both the cost and the pace of home buying is a continuing shortage of housing stock.

The number of new listings coming to the market dropped 8% year over year, sending the overall supply of homes on the market to a new low of 447,000, and putting a damper on pending sales, which fell 2.7% across the more than 400 U.S. metro areas that Redfin analyzed.

“The acute shortage of new listings of homes for sale is the biggest problem the housing market faces right now,” Taylor Marr, Redfin deputy chief economist, said in the report.

“If you think of the housing market like a bathtub, water (supply of homes for sale) is flowing down the drain (buyers sucking up supply) faster than new water (new listings) is coming in through the faucet,” he explained.

“Rising mortgage rates may slow the drain down a bit (cool demand) as record-high monthly payments take a toll on buyers’ budgets. Bottom line: Without a flood of new listings, we will be sitting in a very shallow bath for a while.”

Joyce Rey
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