Buyers in some markets are already getting — or may soon get — some relief in the form of lower home prices, pros say. Already, in the last 4 – 8 weeks, experts have noticed downward price pressure in higher priced markets that were previously robust. (See the lowest mortgage rates you may get now here.) “These were markets where the median sale-to-list price ratio was running well in excess of 5% above list price, and examples include San Francisco, San Jose, Austin, Denver and Seattle,” says Chris Stroud, co-founder and chief of research at HouseCanary, a technology-powered national brokerage that provides residential real estate analytics.
All of the cities listed above experienced a pretty quick decline in their respective median closing prices during July and August as buyers no longer had to get into bidding wars or make offers above asking to be competitive. “Median closing prices have largely stabilized in these markets for the most part over the last few weeks now that excesses have been worked out of the system,” says Stroud.
The markets with the highest share of price cuts in Realtor.com’s July data are mostly clustered in the Sun Belt and include Las Vegas, Phoenix, Austin, Sacramento, Denver, Portland, Dallas-Fort Worth, Nashville, Tampa and San Diego.
Where will we see home price cuts in the future?
Those same markets may see more declines, says Realtor.com’s senior economist George Ratiu. “As we look toward the next few months of rebalancing, we can expect these markets to feel an increasing squeeze on list prices, as seasonal trends take deeper root and buyer traffic waves from summer’s peak.”
For their part, a team of Goldman Sachs strategists said that metro areas in the west are more likely to see a price correction, and that’s “especially true for markets with low levels of housing affordability, such as Seattle, San Diego and Los Angeles.”
Longer term, price decreases will depend, in part, on where inventory increases quickly and excessively in conjunction with suppressed demand due to interest rates, experts say. “Going into the rate increase period, the majority of markets were experiencing record low inventory. This environment has so far prevented large price declines in many areas across the country,” explains Stroud, who notes that that may change.
Markets that saw an especially large influx of out-of-staters — places like Boise, Denver and Salt Lake City — may be more vulnerable to price drops as the shift to remote work is largely complete, says Kate Wood, home expert at NerdWallet. “It’s a double whammy for home sellers as the influx of deep-pocketed out-of-staters dries up and many local residents are now priced out. With home prices remaining high, these markets are still far from buyer-friendly, but sellers probably shouldn’t expect the bidding wars and zero-contingency offers that proliferated over the last two years,” says Wood.
As housing markets are pulling back in the wake of higher mortgage rates, prices and inflation, some of these markets are finding they have a growing volume of lingering inventory and not enough buyers, says Ratiu. “For homeowners who are motivated to sell, the answer is increasingly an old-fashioned one – price cuts. Even as median list prices continue to advance—the result of homeowners pricing properties based on market data from months ago—growing inventory and shrinking buyer traffic are starting to put downward pressure on prices,” says Ratiu.
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