Buyer demand softens as homes linger on the market

Buyer demand softens as homes linger on the market

As the housing market rebalances, homes on the market that are selling are doing so relatively quickly — slower than at the height of last year’s frenzy, but faster than pre-pandemic norms — according to a new latest market analysis from Zillow. The data also revealed that other homes linger in the market much longer, motivating sellers to create an attractive, competitively priced listing to entice a buyer in today’s market.

Differences in Days to Wait – the median number of days sold homes have been listed for sale before an offer is accepted – and Inventory Age – the median number of days that homes currently listed sale have been in the market – can reveal valuable information for home sellers, especially in times of transition.

Strong points:

  • Discrepancies between the median age of inventory and the typical time in the market for homes selling can reveal markets in which certain home types, neighborhoods, or price levels are in demand, while others linger on. the market.
  • While buyers have regained some bargaining power, sellers with an attractive offer can still expect a fairly quick sale.
  • The median number of days a home for sale has been on the market is up 45% from last year nationally and up in 48 of the top 50 markets
  • Some 46% of listings have been on the market for more than 60 days, up 10 percentage points from last year.
  • In some markets, homes that are selling continue to sell quickly even though the typical length of time a home is on the market for sale has increased significantly. This growing gap may indicate that the market for homes with certain characteristics remains competitive, even in the current high interest rate environment.

Homes that were on hold in September generally did so after 19 days; a far cry from the record lows seen during much of the pandemic when homes remained on hold after a week on the market, but 10 days faster than September 2019. However, this only takes into account homes that find a buyer. Looking at the full inventory of listings for sale, homes were on the market a median of 54 days in mid-October, a 45% increase from a year earlier.

“Last year, sellers could seemingly list their home at any price and see multiple offers come in above the list price within days,” said Zillow senior economist Nicole Bachaud. “Now buyers have some bargaining power and sellers are under pressure. Buyers are still there and ready to buy when they find the right home at the right price, which will provide a floor for the price drops we But sellers need to get it right to get those buyers’ attention – price their home competitively and make their listing appealing to online buyers. ‘nowadays it is valuable to work with an experienced agent who knows the local market.

Since an all-time low of 19 days in early April, the median age of stocks on Zillow has risen at the fastest rate since at least 2018, when this analysis began. While demand has certainly cooled – Zillow estimates there are 32% fewer active buyers than a year ago, but still more than there were in September 2019 – the growth rapid median age of stocks may say more about how intense competition last year was than about what is happening today. In 2021, the flow of new listings was comparable to previous years, but there were so many buyers flooding the market that listings disappeared in the blink of an eye.

Even now, the median age of stocks is 30% below pre-pandemic norms. If the age of inventory continues to grow at this rapid rate – not a bad bet given that we are approaching what is typically the slowest time of year for the housing market – l ‘inventory is estimated to be on the market a median of 68 days by the end of this year. That would be over a month less than before the pandemic. Homes for sale were generally on the market for 100 days at the end of 2018 and 2019.

The rapid increase in the age of inventory is mainly due to the fact that the decline in buyer demand has been more profound than the decline in new listings. Buyers are pulling back primarily on affordability hurdles as mortgage rates have risen and the pace of sales has slowed. Homeowners are reluctant to sell and give up what is probably a mortgage rate of around 3% in order to buy a new home at today’s interest rates. The lack of new inventory on the market means the share of inventory taken up by listings a week or less old is down 42% from a year ago.

Some markets have seen the number of waiting days remain quite low, while the median age of stocks has increased much more. This indicates that a subset of homes continues to face stiff competition, with buyers quickly snatching them from the market, while others linger. One example is St. Louis, where typical wait days have remained around a week, while the median age of inventory has risen to 40 days from a low of nine days this spring.

To read the full report, including more data, charts and methodology, click here.


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