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The RedFin CEO discussed his 15 concerns with the housing market, and the current state of buyers and sellers for real estate – here are those concerns, and my own thoughts of each point – Enjoy! Add me on Instagram: GPStephan
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1. It has been hard to convey, through anecdotes or data, how bizarre the U.S. housing market has become. For example, a Bethesda, Maryland homebuyer working with REDFIN included, in her written offer, a pledge to name her first-born child after the seller. She lost.
2. There are now more Realtors than listings.
3. Inventory is down 37% year over year to a record low. The typical home sells in 17 days, a record low. Home prices are up a record amount, 24% year over year, to a record high. And still homes sell on average for 1.7% higher than the asking price, another record.
4. In two of America’s largest cities, inventory has increased, in New York by 28%, in San Francisco by 77%. San Francisco hasn’t had an inventory increase this large since 2008. And still in both markets, prices are increasing.
5. New-construction permits were *down* 13% in DC and New York, 40% in LA, 48% in Chicago, 50% in Seattle, 79% in San Francisco. Permits were *up* 25% in Miami, 56% in Vegas, 96% in Greenville, 122% in Detroit, 246% in Knoxville.
6. Lumber prices are up 300%.
7. 63% reported having bid on a home they hadn’t seen in person.
8. In an April survey of 600 Redfin users who had relocated in the past year, about two thirds of the people who moved got a house the same size or bigger, but about the same proportion, two thirds, spent the same or *less* on housing.
9. Even though most of the people who moved got a bigger home, 78% reported having the same or more disposable income after their move. Idaho home prices could triple and still seem affordable to a Californian.
10. For low-tax states, 4 people move in for every 1 who leaves. For Texas, this ratio is 5:1; for Florida, 7:1.
11. The money saved on housing costs lets one parent stop working.
12. Lenders are calling employers to confirm that the homebuyer will have permission to work remotely when the pandemic ends. Rates are lower for loans on primary residences, and the lender also wants to make sure the borrower actually plans to work after getting the loan.
13. The average housing budget for out-of-towners moving to Nashville was $720K, ~50% higher than locals’ $485K budget. It used to be coastal elites who worried that every adult in the family had to win a career lottery, just to afford a home. Now that feeling may spread.
14. It’s not just income that’s k-shaped, but mobility. 90% of people earning $100,000+ per year expect to be able to work virtually, compared to 10% of those earning $40,000 or less per year. The folks who need low-cost housing the most have the least flexibility to move.
15. We have more room to grow than we ever imagined. We just have to make sure that benefits everyone.
The way I see this, there’s nothing here that points to this being permanent – and, even though it might take some time to “normalize” – I believe, at some point, more inventory will come on the market and more homes will be built. Sure, housing could continue to go up in the mean time…but, until then, the best you can do is stay educated about the market, continue living below your means, save and invest as much money as possible, and when the right house comes along – go for it.
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