A new report from brokerage and listings portal Redfin suggests homebuyer competition took a nosedive in Greater Boston between June and July – but it’s still stronger than in many metros.
The company’s researchers reported only 53.2 percent of offers its agents wrote in the region in July met with at least one competing offer, compared to 73.2 percent in June and 61.1 percent in July 2021. In Worcester, the figures were 54.8 percent last month compared to 62.3 percent in June and 72.4 percent in July 2021.
With once-red-hot markets like Phoenix and Orlando sporting competing-offer rates of 26.6 percent and 37.4 percent, respectively, that put Worcester as the fifth-most competitive housing market nation-wide and Boston at sixth.
In some less-competitive markets, buyers have even started writing offers for less than sellers’ list prices, Redfin said, illustrating the contrast between Massachusetts’ housing market at the rest of the country.
“The market is wildly different than it was a few months ago. Buyers are competing with one to two other offers instead of four to eight. Some aren’t facing competition at all,” Alexis Malin, a Redfin buyers’ agent in Jacksonville, Florida, said in a statement the company released along with its report. “There’s not the same sense of urgency. House hunters are scheduling tours four days in advance instead of one, and they’re becoming much more selective. If a home doesn’t check all of their boxes, they’re waiting until they find one that does. Six months ago, buyers were taking any house they could get.”
Nationwide, 44.3 percent of home offers written by Redfin agents faced competition on a seasonally adjusted basis in July, compared with a revised rate of 50.9 percent one month earlier and 63.8 percent one year earlier, the company said. That’s down from a two-year high of 69.8 percent in January of this year.
The shift comes as Redfin researchers reported earlier this week that a growing share of homes in real estate markets across the country are growing “stale,” meaning they’ve been on the market for 30 days or more without attracting an offer. The share of home listings in that position across the country was up 12.5 percent in July year-over-year, the company said, for 61.2 percent of all U.S. for-sale home listings. It’s a sign many American housing markets are seeing inventory build up thanks to dropping buyer demand.
Greater Boston saw an even bigger year-on-year jump: a 15.6 percent year-over-year increase, to 53.3 percent of all listings on the market in July.
“People want to know whether we’ve officially shifted from a seller’s market to a buyer’s market. While there’s not a clear line separating those two ideas, homes sitting on the market longer is a point in buyers’ favor,” Redfin Deputy Chief Economist Taylor Marr said in a statement. “Buyers can take their time making careful decisions about homes without worrying so much about bidding wars, offering over the asking price and waiving contingencies. It’s a different story for sellers, who have spent the last two years hearing about their neighbors’ homes getting multiple offers the day they go on sale. Now they need to price lower and get back to the basics of selling a home, like staging and sprucing up painting, to get buyers’ attention.”
Realtor associations and real estate data company The Warren Group, publisher of Banker & Tradesman, are expected to release Massachusetts home sales statistics, including average time on market, for the month of July next week.