Autumn Pace Defies Usual Pattern for Home Sales

Off the Charts: The Visual Says it All

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Fall is typically a time when the residential real estate market slows down. Not this year. 

Unlike this time of year in 2019 and even 2020 (by all accounts a very unusual year for the housing market), the portion of homes under contract that were snatched up within a week of being listed has been growing for several weeks, according to data analyzed by real estate company Redfin. In the four-week period through Oct. 10, 33% of pending home sales went under contract within a week of listing, compared with 31% for the four weeks through Sept. 12. As the chart below shows, this marks a reversal of the usual drill this time of year, when the frenzied pace of sales gets slower.

The data adds to evidence that the housing market is still dealing with a seriously limited number of homes for sale, and buyers and sellers alike are feeling pressure to close deals quickly. Another example: the volume of sales dropped off just 7% between August and September, less than half as much as they usually do, real estate company Re/Max said in a report Monday.

“This was the second-most active September for sales in 14 years, trailing only 2020, which was an outlier in many ways," said Nick Bailey, president of Re/Max, in the report. "Buyers and sellers are still very much on the move.” 

One thing that was typical for this time of year: The median asking price on a new listing inched down 0.7% to $362,047 in the latest four-week period, Redfin said. Still, that was down from a record high, highlighting this year’s runaway surge in home prices.

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