Home For-Sale Listings Plunge to a Record Low

Off the Charts: The Visual Says It All

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It’s normal for the number of homes for sale to drop this time of year, but what’s not normal is for the number of listings to get as skimpy as it did at the end of November.

For-sale listings nationwide hit a record low of 536,734 for the week through Nov. 28—an 8.7% decline from the previous week—and are likely to fall even more in December, real estate firm Redfin said Wednesday. The dip was below even the previous low-water mark (set in February) since Redfin began keeping track in 2012.

The data marks a setback from earlier in the year, when there were signs the 2021 housing market might be edging back toward normal. Instead, it shows a return to the familiar COVID-19 pandemic pattern: high buyer demand for space to live and telecommute, few homes for sale, and rising prices. The extremely meager housing supply suggests “a difficult winter is in store for homebuyers,” according to Redfin. 

“I think more new listings will hit the market in the new year, but there will also be a long line of buyers who are queuing up right now,” Redfin chief economist Daryl Fairweather said in a commentary. 

To make matters worse for house hunters, there’s no end in sight for the relentless increase in home prices, with the median home now carrying a record $360,375 price tag for the four weeks through Nov. 28. That’s up 1.5% from the previous four-week period and 14% year-over-year, according to Redfin’s data.

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