Price Pressure Fueled by Limited Supply

Forty Percent of Homes Sold For the List Price or More in July 2018

By Shu Chen Housing Affordability, Real Estate

Ten years after the financial crisis, the national CoreLogic Home Price Index (HPI®) has exceed pre-crisis peak and continues to grow with a strong and steady pace. With demand strong and inventory thin, the share of homes selling for the list price or more has also returned to pre-bust levels.

Share of SalesWith demand outweighing supply, homes are more likely to sell above the asking price. Figure 1 shows the share of homes that sold at a price above, equal to or below the list price. [1] The share of homes selling at or above list price has returned to mid-2005 levels. In Q2 2018 that share represented more than 40 percent of total sales – almost triple the level during the trough in January 2008. The share of homes selling for less than list price has made up the majority of sales over the past 10 years. Regardless of market conditions, there are always highly motivated sellers – including those who begin with unrealistic expectations – willing to drop their price.

Share of Sales

Housing markets are different across the nation. Therefore, sales and listing patterns also vary geographically. Figure 2 shows the share of homes that sold at, above, or below their list prices in 20 CBSAs during July 2018. San Francisco had the largest share of homes – 81 percent – that sold for at least the list price. Seattle and Minneapolis followed with 65 and 58 percent selling for the list price or more, respectively. Houston and Miami had the lowest share – 27 and 20 percent – of homes selling at or above the list price in July 2018. San Francisco was one of metros with the highest home price growth in the U.S. in July. According to the CoreLogic HPI, home prices in San Francisco increased 11 percent year over year in July. On the other hand, Miami had a moderate annual home price increase of 4.6 percent in July.

Months Supply vs Service Premium

Price pressures rapidly increase as supply drops below 3 months. Figure 3 shows the price premium or discount and months’ supply for over 200 CBSAs in July 2018. In San Francisco and San Jose, where months’ supply was at 2 and 2.2, respectively, home buyers had to pay 9.7 and 5.4 percent more than the asking price on average. On the other hand, markets like Miami and Naples, where months’ supply are sufficient at 10 and 12, home buyers were able to negotiate below asking prices, with average discounts of 6.5 and 7.5 percent, respectively, in July 2018.

Note: The U.S. statistics are based on data for 65 CBSAs. Each of these CBSAs has at least 50 percent coverage since 2000. CoreLogic MLS data coverage usually increases over time, which might also contribute to inventory increases.

[1] Figures 1 and 2 use 65 CBSAs to aggregate national level statistics. The inventory has not been adjusted for growth in the number of households over time. As the number of households increases over time, the ‘equivalent’ level of inventory should rise as well.

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