Housing Bubble Woes: Dwelling Costs Drop 3.5%, Steepest Month-to-month Drop since Jan. 2016. Gross sales, Already at Lockdown Ranges, Drop Additional. Lively Listings Rise Additional

Yves right here. Wolf offers one in every of his common housing market updates. His huge message is “Look out beneath!”

By Wolf Richter, editor of Wolf Avenue. Initially revealed at Wolf Avenue

These gross sales occurred throughout the “Fed pivot” fantasy that pushed mortgage charges down to five%. Now mortgage charges are close to 6.5%.

In July and thru mid-August, mortgage charges fell sharply from the 6%-range in mid-June, on the extensively propagated fantasy of a Fed “pivot” on fee hikes. By mid-August, the typical 30-year fastened mortgage fee was down to five%. Yesterday, they have been at 6.47%. However the temporary interlude of dropping mortgage charges slowed down the decline in house gross sales – gross sales declined once more in August from July however at a slower fee – with Realtors in mid-August speaking concerning the market waking again up.

However costs backed off for the second month in a row, and in a giant means, amid widespread worth reductions, and that additionally helped getting some offers carried out.

The median worth of present single-family homes, condos, and co-ops whose gross sales closed in August dropped a hefty 3.5% in August from July, the biggest month-to-month share drop since January 2016, after the two.4% drop within the prior month, to $389,500, in accordance with the Nationwide Affiliation of Realtors. Whereas there’s some seasonality concerned, the proportion drop was a lot larger than regular in August, whittling down the year-over-year worth enhance to 7.7%, down from the 25% year-over-year will increase final summer season (knowledge through YCharts):

Within the West, worth drops are additional superior, amid dismal gross sales. For instance, in San Francisco and in Silicon Valley, median costs have plunged in current months – now down on a year-over-year foundation in San Francisco and Santa Clara County (San Jose) and up only a hair in San Mateo County, in accordance with knowledge from the California Affiliation of Realtors.

Gross sales of present homes, condos, and co-ops throughout the US dipped a smidgen from July, after the 5.9% plunge within the prior month, to a seasonally adjusted annual fee of gross sales of 4.80 million houses, roughly degree with lockdown-June 2020, in accordance with the Nationwide Affiliation of Realtors in its report. This was the seventh month in a row of month-to-month declines.

Past the lockdown months, it was the bottom gross sales fee since 2014, and down by 29% from October 2020 (historic knowledge through YCharts):

Gross sales of single-family homes dropped by 0.9% in August from July, and by 19% year-over-year, to a seasonally adjusted annual fee of 4.28 million homes.

Gross sales of condos and co-ops rose 4% from July, to 520,000 seasonally adjusted annual fee, down 25% year-over-year.

In comparison with August final 12 months, gross sales fell by 20%, the thirteenth month in a row of year-over-year declines, primarily based on the seasonally adjusted annual fee of gross sales (historic knowledge through YCharts):


Gross sales by area: On a year-over-year foundation, gross sales dropped sharply in all areas. On a month-over-month (mother) foundation, you’ll be able to see a bit uptick in two of the 4 areas:

  • Northeast: +1.6% mother; -13.7% yoy.
  • Midwest: -3.3% mother; -15.9% yoy.
  • South: 0% mother; -19.3% yoy.
  • West: +1.1% mother; -29.0% yoy.

Gross sales dropped in all worth ranges however dropped probably the most on the low finish.



Gross sales quantity has been low as a result of potential sellers are clinging to their aspirational costs of yesteryear, when mortgage charges have been 3%, and lots of would relatively preserve the house off the market or pull it off the market than promote for much less, for so long as they will. However worth reductions have now taken off by sellers who wish to promote.

Value reductions began spiking in Might from document low ranges final winter and spring as gross sales stalled, and as mortgage charges surged. In July, they reached the best degree since 2019, in accordance with knowledge from realtor.com. In August, worth reductions dipped just a bit as sellers may need felt that worth reductions have been much less wanted, amid the declining-mortgage-rate-Fed-pivot fantasy in July and August:


Lively listings – complete stock on the market minus the properties with pending gross sales – rose to 779,400 houses in August, the best since October 2020, up by 27% from a 12 months in the past, in accordance with knowledge from realtor.com:


The Nationwide Affiliation of Realtors is clamoring for extra single-family homes to be constructed. However homebuilders, they are having bother promoting the homes that they’ve already constructed or are constructing, gross sales have plunged, inventories have spiked to the best since 2008, and homebuilders have began chopping costs, shopping for down mortgage charges, and piling on different incentives to get their stock transferring.

Buyers or second house patrons bought 16% of the houses in August, up from 14% in July, however down from the 17%-22% vary within the spring and winter, in accordance with NAR knowledge.

“All-cash” patrons, which embody many traders and second house patrons, remained at 24% of complete gross sales, down from a share of 25% to 26% April by means of June.

Going ahead: holy-moly mortgage charges. After the fantasy-drop from 6% in mid-June to five% by mid-August, mortgage charges at the moment are solidly over 6%.

The day by day measure of the typical 30-year-fixed mortgage fee is at 6.47%, in accordance with Mortgage Information Day by day.

In keeping with Freddie Mac’s weekly measure, launched final week, primarily based on mortgage charges early final week, rose to six.02%, greater than double a 12 months in the past. These 6%-plus mortgage charges are nonetheless very low, contemplating that CPI inflation is over 8%. However they’re catching up.

And potential sellers that held on to their houses in July and August as a result of they didn’t wish to meet the worth the place the patrons have been – hoping the “pivot” fantasy would push down mortgage charges additional – now face the consequences of those 6%-plus mortgage charges:

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