SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The number of homes sold plunged 21 percent in November and was down 5 percent from this time last year, even as home prices have held steady for the past three months, according to the latest Real-Time Housing Market Tracker from Redfin (www.redfin.com), the customer-first real estate brokerage.
The decrease in sales was not due to absent buyers, who often pause their home search during the holidays, but to too few sellers putting their homes on the market.
“A lot of buyers who didn’t find homes this summer expected to buy during the holiday season when the market usually slows down and there’s less competition, but now there are fewer homes for sale,” said Angelica Robles, a Redfin agent in San Jose, which saw one of the largest declines in home sales year over year.
A month-over-month decline in homes for sale this time of year is typical, so a 27.7 percent drop in new listings from October was not a surprise. What is surprising is that the total number of homes on the market in November was down 1.5 percent from last year, the first year-over-year drop in inventory in 2014.
Buyers are certainly concerned about a lack of homes for sale, but a lack of affordable homes is an even larger concern, according to the latest Redfin Real-Time Buyer Survey. Just 11.3 percent said their biggest obstacle was “lack of homes for sale,” while 32.6 percent cited their biggest obstacle as “affordability in the area I want to buy.” The survey marked the first time since 2012 that buyers were more concerned about affordability than lack of inventory.
Even as sales have declined, the median sale price has remained at approximately $274,000 for the past three months, unlike last year when prices decreased between September and November. Year over year, the median sale price increased 6.2 percent in November.
The steady price growth of 2014 could turn into good news for buyers in 2015 as the supply of homes priced under $300,000 is likely to increase. That’s because price growth in the low to middle price range has translated into increased equity for a large swath of homeowners, who will be in a position to sell in 2015.
To read the Real-Time Housing Market Tracker report, please visit http://www.redfin.com/research/reports/real-time-housing-market-tracker/2014/market-tracker-november-2014.html
To read the Redfin Real-Time Buyer Survey, please visit http://www.redfin.com/research/reports/real-time-market-sentiment/2014/buyers-concerned-about-affordability.html
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Redfin (www.redfin.com) is a customer-first real estate brokerage that represents people buying and selling homes. Founded and run by technologists, Redfin has a team of experienced, full-service real estate agents who are advocates, not salespeople, earning customer-satisfaction bonuses, not commissions. Redfin.com features all the broker-listed homes for sale, as well as for-sale-by-owner properties that don’t pay brokers a commission. Redfin also offers online tools that make the entire process of buying or selling a home easier and more fun. The company serves major markets across the U.S. and has closed nearly $20 billion in home sales. In 2012, Redfin was named one of The DIGITAL 100: World’s Most Valuable Private Tech Companies by Business Insider.