Housing prices keep going up, and real-estate firms are starting to worry about it.
In a Friday report, Redfin said the median home-sale price for the four weeks ending March 21 was $331,590 — a record high, and a 16% year-over-year increase.
It's the latest in a series of record highs. National Association of Realtors data shows at least six record highs dating back to March 2020, although its data differs slightly from Redfin's. For the period ending March 21, Redfin found six different record-setting trends alone.
"It's concerning how much home prices have risen during the pandemic," Redfin Chief Economist Fairweather writes in the report. "When the pandemic is over, purchasing a home is going to cost much more than ever before, putting homeownership much further out of reach for many Americans. That means a future in which most Americans will not have the opportunity to build wealth through home equity, which will worsen inequality in our society."
Records continue to be set in bad categories: The number of houses available to buy dropped a record-setting amount, with active listings down by 42%, the largest decline since Redfin began tracking data in 2016. Broadly, new listings dropped by 12% from 2020.
Houses continue to sell above asking price in general, with the sale-to-list price ratio increasing 1.9% from 2020 to a record high of 100.2%. On the whole, a record 39% of houses sold above their list prices — a 15% increase from 2020.
Those in the market for houses also had to move fast if they wanted to actually snag a property: Of the homes under contract, 58% had an offer within two weeks of hitting the market, another record high. Sixty-one percent of homes sold in under two weeks or less for the week ending March 21.
As Insider's Taylor Borden wrote: "It's actually a horrible time to buy a house," citing shrinking supply, growing prices, and discontent with the actual homes that buyers are able to get their hands on in a crowded market.
It's not a problem restricted to just America: The Wall Street Journal reported that prices are rising globally, with some central bankers in other countries worried about potential bubbles, especially as interest rates remain low.
But while low mortgage rates have been one major driver in the US house-buying craze, rates during the week ending March 25 continued to move above 3%, in fact they hit their highest point since June, Redfin noted. However, while the number of people seeking mortgages dropped 2.5% from the prior week for the week ending March 19, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association, they were still 26% higher from the previous year.