Roughly 1 in 4 Homes for Sale in Austin and Seattle Cost Less Than They Would Have a Year Ago
Redfin reports that prices have come down enough to offset rising mortgage rates in some pandemic boomtowns and expensive coastal markets
SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- (NASDAQ: RDFN) — One-quarter of homes for sale in Austin, TX (25.8%) have lower estimated monthly housing payments than they would have if they had been for sale a year ago, according to a new report from Redfin (redfin.com), the technology-powered real estate brokerage.
That’s a higher share than any other major U.S. metropolitan area Redfin analyzed and more than triple the nationwide share of 7.1%.
The housing market started to slow last year in response to rising mortgage rates, bringing down home prices in some parts of the country. While monthly payments on many for-sale homes remain higher than they would’ve been a year ago due to elevated mortgage rates, other homes have become more affordable because their value has dropped enough to offset the cost of a higher rate.
This is welcome news for house hunters following months of relentless price increases. The median U.S. home-sale price fell 3.3% year over year in March, the biggest annual decline in more than a decade. That’s bringing back buyers in some markets. In Austin, home prices decreased 13.6% year over year in March—the second biggest decline in the country. Pending home sales in Austin were down 32.9% year over year in March, but that’s an improvement from a record decline of 45.6% in January.
“We’re seeing a little more movement among homebuyers in Austin right now,” said local Redfin Premier real estate agent Andrew Vallejo. “There’s this group of house hunters that has been waiting on the sidelines for prices to come down, and they’ve decided to start buying this spring. They’re taking their time though; mortgage rates are still volatile and they know they have some negotiating power.”
Home prices are falling fastest in pandemic boomtowns like Austin and expensive coastal markets like Seattle and San Francisco because prices in those places skyrocketed to unsustainable levels in recent years. Prices are now making their way back down to earth after many homebuyers were priced out.
In Boise, ID, the median sale price fell 15.4% year over year in March—more than anywhere else in the U.S.—and 12.3% of homes for sale have lower estimated monthly payments than they would have a year ago. Still, many people remain priced out, according to local Redfin Premier real estate agent Shauna Pendleton.
“Home prices in Boise jumped during the pandemic because people were flooding in from high-income states like California and Washington. Now locals can’t afford to buy homes,” Pendleton said. “Prices rose too drastically, so now they’re dropping, but they still haven’t fallen enough to bring a ton of buyers back to the market.”
In many places, home prices haven’t fallen enough to offset the cost from higher mortgage rates, meaning homeownership remains prohibitively expensive for many Americans. Mortgage rates are near their highest level in over two decades, which has sent the monthly payment for the typical homebuyer up more than $250 from a year ago.
Drop in Home Prices Brings Some Buyers Back, But Keeps Many Sellers Sidelined
“The decline in home prices is good news for house hunters, but the irony is that it’s also limiting their options because it’s making a lot of homeowners hesitant to sell,” said Redfin Economics Research Lead Chen Zhao. “Elevated rates and declining prices are prompting many sellers to stay put, which is fueling a housing shortage that’s keeping prices from falling further.”
In many parts of the country, home sellers who bought during the pandemic are in an especially tricky situation because there’s a chance they’ll sell at a loss, Pendleton said.
One seller Pendleton is working with bought their newly built home for $390,000 less than a year ago and now needs to relocate to care for family. While their house received four offers in under a week and sold at the $370,000 asking price, the seller still ended up losing about $37,000 when accounting for agent commissions.
“When I meet with prospective sellers who purchased their homes recently, I’m suggesting they stay put for a while longer if they can. If you bought in 2021 or early 2022, you may sell for what you paid or less,” Pendleton said. “People who bought before 2020 are in a much better position to profit. One of my sellers purchased their home in 2018 for around $400,000 and is now likely going to sell it for close to $1 million.”
Nationwide, 4.8% of homes that sold in March sold for less than the buyer paid, a separate Redfin analysis found. While that’s relatively low, it’s more than double the 2.3% share a year earlier.
In Orlando and Des Moines, Just 1% of Homes for Sale Cost Less Than They Would Have a Year Ago
In Orlando, FL, 1.2% of homes have lower estimated monthly housing payments than they would have a year ago—the lowest share among the metros Redfin analyzed. Next came Des Moines, IA (1.2%), Richmond, VA (1.4%), Lakeland, FL (1.8%) and Raleigh, NC (1.9%).
While these areas saw home prices climb during the pandemic, they remain affordable compared to places like Seattle and San Francisco. Because they’re more affordable, demand has held up relatively well, which has kept home prices afloat.
The Highest-Priced Homes for Sale Are Most Likely to Cost Less Than They Would Have a Year Ago
One of every six (17%) U.S. homes for sale with an estimated value of $10 million or above has a lower estimated monthly payment than it would have a year ago. That compares with 6.2% of homes for sale with an estimated value of $500,000 to $1 million, and 5.1% of homes for sale with an estimated value of $250,000 to $500,000.
Luxury homes are losing value because demand for high-end goods tends to dwindle during times of economic hardship and uncertainty. Purchases of luxury homes fell a record 44.6% year over year to the second lowest level on record during the three months ending January 31, a recent Redfin analysis found.
Suburban Single-Family Homes Have Held Their Value Better Than Urban Condos
Nationwide, 10.3% of urban homes for sale have lower estimated monthly payments than they would have a year ago. That compares with 7% of rural homes and 5.8% of suburban homes.
The suburbs came back into vogue during the pandemic while cities fell out of favor—largely because remote work made proximity to the office less of a priority. Scores of people left urban areas for the suburbs and rural areas in search of more space and relatively affordable housing, which is helping suburban and rural homes hold their value today.
This helps explain why single-family homes, which are often concentrated in the suburbs, have held their value better than condos, which are often concentrated in cities.
Nationwide, 6.8% of single-family homes and townhouses for sale have lower estimated monthly payments than they would have a year ago, compared with 9% of condos and co-ops.
To view the full report, including metro-level data and methodology, please visit: https://www.redfin.com/news/homes-cost-less-than-year-ago-2023/
Redfin (www.redfin.com) is a technology-powered real estate company. We help people find a place to live with brokerage, rentals, lending, title insurance, and renovations services. We sell homes for more money and charge half the fee. We also run the country's #1 real estate brokerage site. Our home-buying customers see homes first with on-demand tours, and our lending and title services help them close quickly. Customers selling a home can have our renovations crew fix up their home to sell for top dollar. Our rentals business empowers millions nationwide to find apartments and houses for rent. Since launching in 2006, we've saved customers more than $1 billion in commissions. We serve more than 100 markets across the U.S. and Canada and employ over 5,000 people.
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Released May 2, 2023