According to recent research from Redfin, sellers in the housing market are reducing asking prices at a higher rate than usual. Approximately 6.5% of homes on the market saw price cuts during the four-week period ending September 27, which represents an increase from the previous month. This rise in price reductions is a departure from trends seen in past years during the same time frame.
The increase in price cuts can be attributed to several factors. Low inventory and rising interest rates are impacting home affordability, making it more difficult for buyers to enter the market. These conditions are expected to persist over the next several months, further affecting affordability.
Despite relatively low demand, the median sales price has risen by 3.1% year-over-year, reaching $372,500. However, the volume of new listings has also increased, giving home shoppers more negotiating power. Buyers are using factors such as inspection negotiations and high insurance premiums to their advantage, pressuring sellers to make concessions in order to close deals.
The Mortgage Bankers Association’s latest affordability data offers little hope for aspiring homeowners. The average monthly amount applied for by new home buyers increased slightly in August compared to previous months. Prospective buyers continue to struggle with high home prices and mortgage rates that remain above 7%.
The recent surge in mortgage rates has further added to the challenges faced by buyers. Rates have reached their highest point since late 2000, impacting the affordability of homes. Borrowers of Federal Housing Administration-backed mortgages have seen their average payments reach record levels.
While the overall affordability index has increased, conventional loan borrowers have experienced a slight decrease in payments. However, the average payment is still significantly higher compared to the previous year.
The states with the lowest affordability scores are concentrated in the Western U.S. Idaho leads the country with the highest index score, followed by Nevada and Arizona.
Overall, the combination of low inventory, rising interest rates, and high home prices is making it increasingly difficult for buyers to afford homes. Sellers are adjusting their asking prices to attract potential buyers, but the market appears to be favoring buyers who can negotiate better terms. As the housing market continues to be impacted by these factors, it remains uncertain when affordability will improve.