U.S. Home Prices up a Record-Setting 13 Percent Annually in August

According to a new report by Redfin, U.S. median home sale prices increased 13% from August 2019 to $319,178–the highest on record. This 13% year-over-year increase was the largest since October 2013.

“Home price growth this high is making the housing market especially difficult for first-time homebuyers right now,” said Redfin chief economist Daryl Fairweather. “Rising prices are just one more reason for people to leave expensive urban neighborhoods behind. The sudden rise of remote work has allowed homebuyers who are priced out of one neighborhood to expand their search to more affordable areas. In turn, they are pushing up home prices in those relatively affordable areas, causing more people to look to even more affordable areas, and so on. Price growth may slow in 2021, but even if it does, high prices are going to continue to make affordability a concern for buyers.”

“I’ve been helping more buyers from out of town lately, mostly from the Bay Area,” said Seattle Redfin agent Christian Cerone. “They’re unfazed by the intensity of the market, since that’s been the norm there for quite a while. We’ve also started to see bidding wars even on homes above $1 million, which were seemingly immune to bidding wars even when the market got really crazy in recent years. With so much wealth coming into the city from more expensive places, there are plenty of buyers right now who have the potential to buy those $1-$2 million homes.”

Redfin agents in areas affected by wildfires report that the smoke is slowing down some home-buying activity.

“Home touring is slowing down in San Francisco due to the fires–people don’t want to go outside with all of the smoke in the air,” said local Redfin agent Gabrielle Bunker. “Some buyers have also started raising concerns about being able to get fire insurance because insurance companies have tightened up their requirements for fire coverage.” Read more

Source: Redfin.com & World Property Journal