Home Sellers Lower Their Expectations—and Prices

Number of the Day: The most relevant or interesting figure in personal finance

NOTD - 15

The Balance

That's how many weeks in a row there has been an increase in the number of homes for sale that have dropped their listing price, a sign that the red-hot housing market may be cooling down.

Sellers lowered their asking prices for 4.9% of homes on the market during the four-week period ending Aug. 8, a level not seen since late 2019, according to data released Friday by real estate company Redfin. The median asking price, at $355,389, declined to where it was in early May, and homes stayed on the market a bit longer, 17 days compared with the all-time low of 15 days, set in late June and July.

Home prices soared to record highs during the pandemic, aided by ultra-low mortgage rates and people looking for more space amid shutdowns that had many working and attending school from home. The increased demand depleted the supply of available homes, putting pressure on buyers to go above and beyond in order to attract sellers’ attention.

But that momentum has begun to fade and the shortage of homes on the market has eased, said Daryl Fairweather, chief economist at Redfin. Still more inventory could be on its way when pandemic-era mortgage forbearance ends—and homeowners who are in danger of foreclosure take advantage of their property’s increased value by selling their home and using the money to pay off the mortgage.

Have a question, comment, or story to share? You can reach Rob at ranthes@thebalance.com.