Relief for house buyers? Report finds some cooling in the latest home sales numbers

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FILE – In this Friday, May 22, 2020, file photo, a sold sign sits in front of a house in Brighton, N.Y. The coronavirus pandemic helped shape the housing market by influencing everything from the direction of mortgage rates to the inventory of homes on the market to the types of homes in demand and the desired locations. (AP Photo/Ted Shaffrey, File)

SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — The red-hot housing market is beginning to cool down across much of the United States, according to a new report from Redfin. That could mean a less stressful house hunting experience

During the pandemic, there has been immense competition for buyers looking for their new home, leading to multiple offers and many homes selling for well over the asking price. In one of the most extreme examples, there was a house in Berkeley, California, that sold for $1 million over asking, after receiving a whopping 29 offers.

But Redfin says the market is starting to cool down some.

“Leading indicators of activity are now mostly cooling off instead of continuing to heat up,” Redfin authors Tim Ellis and Taylor Marr wrote in their findings. “Home purchase applications have been falling since late March and are now 7% below their average levels in January and February 2020, despite low mortgage rates and easing access to credit,” the report said.

According to Redfin’s findings, seasonally adjusted pending sales dropped 9.7 percent from the peak four weeks ago, though part of the decline may be due to expected slowness around the Memorial Day holiday weekend. Still, there are some bright spots for buyers on the bidding front as well.

“Buyers who are offering $60,000 or less over asking are beginning to get the homes, compared to last month where buyers had to give at least $100,000 over asking to get the coveted key,” Redfin real estate agent Candice Smith said.

Still, there are some statistics that show the market is still hotter than in recent years, and people may want to wait a little longer to take the step to buy.

Over the last month, Redfin reports that asking prices of newly listed homes hit a new all-time high of $364,725, up 14% from the same time a year ago.

Overall, pending house sales are still up by 29% compared to 2020, Redfin says.

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