Record-setting 52 Percent of U.S. Homes Go Under Contract Within 2 Weeks

Record-setting 52 Percent of U.S. Homes Go Under Contract Within 2 Weeks

Residential News » Seattle Edition | By WPJ Staff | February 17, 2021 8:00 AM ET

National property broker Redfin is reporting this week the median U.S. home sale price increased 15% year over year to $318,750, with over 52% of new listings going under contract within 2 weeks due to severe inventory shortages in most markets.

Thumbnail image for Daryl-Fairweather.jpg"There is a serious lack of new listings, and although prices are through the roof, homeowners are reluctant to sell, because it's so hard to buy again unless you are moving to a less expensive area where you can afford to outbid other buyers," said Redfin chief economist Daryl Fairweather. "Sellers who are concerned about finding their next home are asking buyers for a rent-back agreement, which allows the seller to stay in the home until they can move into their next one. Offering a rent-back agreement can also be a winning strategy for buyers with flexible timelines."

Redfin research is also reporting these key housing market takeaways for more than 400 U.S. metro areas during the 4-week period ending February 7, 2021:

  • Asking prices of newly listed homes hit a new all-time high of $334,770, up 10% from the same time a year ago. In a typical year, asking prices do not surpass the previous year's peak until March.
  • Pending home sales were up 29% year over year.
  • New listings of homes for sale were down 11% from a year earlier.
  • Active listings (the number of homes listed for sale at any point during the period) fell 37% from 2020 to a new all-time low.
    52% of homes that went under contract had an accepted offer within the first two weeks on the market, well above the 43% rate during the same period a year ago. This is the first time the four-week average has surpassed 50% since at least 2012 (as far back as Redfin's data for this measure goes). During the week ending February 7, the rate was 57%.
  • The average sale-to-list price ratio, which measures how close homes are selling to their asking prices, increased slightly to 99.3%--1.6 percentage points higher than a year earlier.
  • For the week ending February 7, the seasonally adjusted Redfin Homebuyer Demand Index--a measure of requests for home tours and other services from Redfin agents--was up 63% from the same period a year ago.
  • Mortgage purchase applications decreased 5% week over week (seasonally adjusted) and were up 17% from a year earlier (unadjusted) during the week ending February 5. For the week ending February 4, 30-year mortgage rates were unchanged at 2.73%.

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