Home prices stay elevated as inventory lags: Redfin 

The median U.S. home sale price reached a record $387,600 in the four weeks ending May 19, marking a 4% year-over-year increase, according to data released Thursday by Redfin

The pricing surge comes despite a marginal dip in weekly average mortgage rates, which fell from a five-month high of 7.22% to 7.02% at the beginning of May, according to Freddie Mac. Consequently, the median monthly housing payment now stands at $2,854, just $20 short of April’s all-time high.

Simultaneously, persistently high housing costs have driven pending home sales down by 4.2% year over year, the largest decline in three months with the exception of the previous four-week period, which saw a 4.4% drop.

The market continues to grapple with insufficient inventory, Redfin reported. New listings have risen approximately 8% compared to last year, yet overall inventory remains below typical spring levels. Many homeowners, reluctant to exchange their current low mortgage rates for higher ones in pursuit of larger or upgraded homes, are staying put. 

“Move-up buyers feel stuck because they’re ready for their next house, but it just doesn’t make financial sense to sell with current interest rates so high,” Sam Brinton, a Redfin Premier agent in Salt Lake City, said in the report. “The homeowners listing right now are often doing so because they need to: One of my clients is selling due to a family emergency, and another couple is selling because they had a baby and simply don’t have enough room. 

“Buyers should take note that many of today’s sellers are motivated; if a home doesn’t have other offers on the table, offer under asking price and/or ask for concessions because many sellers are willing to negotiate.”

The U.S. metro areas with the largest year-over-year increases in median sale prices during the four weeks ending May 19 were Anaheim, California (20.1%); Detroit (16.9%); San Jose (12.9%); Oakland (12.5%); and West Palm Beach, Florida (12%). 

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