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Homes are spending more time on the market — as much as a day, on average — than a year ago, allowing homebuyers a little wiggle room to weigh their options, according to a new report released Thursday by Redfin.
The typical home spent 19 days on the market during the four weeks ending July 17, a full day longer than the same period a year ago, according to the report.
The data point marks the first time in two years that the median time on market has posted a year-over-year gain, according to Redfin.
The decrease in competition brought on by increased prices and mortgage rates allow the buyers who are able to stay in the game a new opportunity to take more time and negotiate with sellers — but they still have to contend with a market that has far less inventory than it needs to keep up with demand.
“Buyers, who earlier this year had to race to beat the competition, can now take their time touring homes and perhaps even wait to see if sellers drop the price,” Redfin Chief Economist Daryl Fairweather said in a statement. “Still, few homes are being listed, so if your dream house hits the market, you should negotiate hard, now that you have the power to. The value may fall in the near term, but if you plan to live there for five or 10 years you will almost certainly gain home equity over that horizon. Sellers, on the other hand, may want to list sooner rather than later, before prices fall more.”
The report found leading indicators of homebuyer activity dropping off, with google searches of “homes for sale” down 23 percent from a year earlier, touring activity down 2 percent from a year earlier, mortgage purchase applications down 19 percent from last year, and the Redfin Homebuyer Demand Index — a measure of requests and home buying services from Redfin — down 17 percent year over year.
Meanwhile, the price of the typical house continued to climb, reaching $389,000 according to Redfin’s data while data from the National Association of Realtors pegs it at $416,000. Pending home sales fell five percent between May and June, and 14.2 percent year over year as buyers pull back from high prices and mortgage rates, creating more opportunities for those who remain.