July Housing Update

07/16/2021

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By Candace Taylor, Wall Street Journal

The U.S. Housing Market is losing some of its ‘frenzy,’ as more homes list for sale.
When Patrick Coleman bought a home in 2017, he beat out eight other bidders and paid $100,000 over the asking price.

So this time around, after months of watching the frenzied pace of real-estate sales, he was prepared for even more competition.

Instead, it was much easier. Mr. Coleman wasn’t even looking for a home. He and his fiancée, image consultant Rebecca Jahangeri, loved their townhouse in Washington, D.C. But in late May, he glanced at a listing his father had sent his sister in their native Potomac, Md. “She wasn’t interested,” Mr. Coleman recalled, “but I texted my dad and I said, ‘Man, I might buy this thing.’ ” Two days later, he and Ms. Jahangeri toured the six-bedroom brick Colonial and made an offer. Within a few hours, it was accepted. It was the first house they saw, and there were no other bidders. They closed in June for $2 million.

“I was a little surprised, that’s for sure,” said Mr. Coleman, 34, a vice president at Jim Coleman Automotive Group. “I feel lucky.”

It seems the wild residential real-estate market of the past year is finally starting to calm down. More houses are coming on the market, real-estate experts said. For high-end properties in particular, inventory is increasing as owners who delayed selling during the worst of the pandemic list their homes. Owners who weren’t planning to sell have changed their minds after watching prices climb ever higher. Meanwhile, some deals made at the height of the frenzy have fallen through, while overpriced homes sit rather than getting snapped up immediately. The market is still hot, with strong demand buoyed by low interest rates, agents said, but buyers now have more options as a sense of normalcy returns.

“The sales market is not a frenzy anymore,” said Andrea Ackerman, a real-estate agent at Brown Harris Stevens in the Hamptons on Long Island’s East End.

More houses are coming on the market, real-estate experts said. For high-end properties in particular, inventory is increasing as owners who delayed selling during the worst of the pandemic list their homes. Owners who weren’t planning to sell have changed their minds after watching prices climb ever higher. Meanwhile, some deals made at the height of the frenzy have fallen through, while overpriced homes sit rather than getting snapped up immediately. The market is still hot, with strong demand buoyed by low interest rates, agents said, but buyers now have more options as a sense of normalcy returns.

“The sales market is not a frenzy anymore,” said Andrea Ackerman, a real-estate agent at Brown Harris Stevens in the Hamptons on Long Island’s East End. “We all felt, 60 days ago, that we were literally going to run out of inventory,” said real-estate agent Jonathan Boxer of Douglas Elliman in Aspen, Colo. “And then things shifted. We started bringing on some new sellers.”

Price growth has slowed with more listings hitting the market across the country, Mr. Ratiu said. In June, the median listing price increased 12.7% year-over-year, compared with a jump of 17.2% in April. He said he expects growth to continue slowing over the next year. Overall, said Mr. Ratiu, “I see this current market beginning to look a lot more like a normal market.”

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