Home Sales Fell 6% in August, the First Annual Decline in 15 Months

byTim Ellis | RedFin.Com

Troy Warren for CNT #RealEstate

However, home prices were up 16%, and new listings posted their first year-over-year decline since February, which could signal a tightening market.

The median price of homes sold in August was $380,271, up 16% from a year earlier, the lowest growth rate since February. August marked the 13th consecutive month of double-digit price gains.

“When it comes to home prices in this market, what goes up stays up,” said Redfin Chief EconomistDaryl Fairweather. “That’s especially true in the Sun Belt; home prices are up more than 20% from last year inAustin and Phoenix. Even with these steep increases, homes in these areas are still relatively affordable, so these and other hot migration destinations are going to continue to attract homebuyers from the coasts. As workers change jobs en masse and enhanced unemployment benefits come to an end, we could see even more households relocate for affordability in the coming months.”

Median sale prices increased from a year earlier in all but two of the 85 largest metro areas Redfin tracks:Milwaukee, WI(-1.6%) andBridgeport, CT(-1.1%). It is worth noting that both of these metro areas had already seen significant price gains a year ago, with prices up 14% and 30% respectively in August of 2020, compared to a 11% gain nationally. So they may have overheated last year, and prices have moderated since, leading to a slight decline in the latest data.

The largest price increases in August 2021 were inAustin, TX(+36%), followed byPhoenix(+25%) andSalt Lake City(+24%).

Seasonally-adjusted home sales in August were down 6% from a year earlier, the first annual decline in 15 months. They were also down 1.4% from July. Compared to August 2020, home sales fell in 44 of the 85 largest metro areas Redfin tracks. The biggest sales declines were seen inNew Orleans(-23%),Salt Lake City(-16%) andWarren, MI(-14%). The largest gains were in places where sales were still somewhat depressed in August 2020, includingNew York(+65%),Honolulu(+47%), andNassau County, NY(+32%).

Seasonally adjusted active listings—the count of all homes that were for sale at any time during the month—fell 19% year over year, the smallest decline since April.

Only four of the 85 largest metros tracked by Redfin posted a year-over-year increase in the number of seasonally adjusted active listings of homes for sale:Austin, TX(+5%),Virginia Beach, VA(+4%),Columbus(+3%) andMilwaukee(+1%). The biggest year-over-year declines in active housing supply in July were inBaton Rouge, LA(-53%),North Port, FL(-44%) andWest Palm Beach, FL(-37%).

Seasonally adjusted new listings of homes for sale were down 6% in August from a year earlier, the first decline since February. New listings fell from a year ago in 56 of the 85 largest metro areas. The biggest declines were inBaton Rouge(-55%),Allentown, PA(-49%) andSt. Louis, MO(-39%). New listings rose the most from a year ago inMcAllen, TX(+27%),Virginia Beach, VA(+17%) andTulsa, OK(+15%).

Measures of housing market competition based on completed home sales eased further in August from all-time records set in June.

The typical home that sold in August went under contract in 16 days—about half as much time as a year earlier, when homes sold in a median 31 days, but up one day from the record low in June.

In August, 52% of homes sold above list price, down 4 percentage points from the record high in June, but up 20 percentage points from a year earlier.

The average sale-to-list price ratio also dipped slightly in August to 101.6%, down from a record high of 102.5% in June but up from 99.2% a year earlier.

Other August Highlights


Indianapoliswas the fastest market, with half of all homes pending sale in just 5 days, down from 7 days a year earlier.Denver,Oklahoma City,SeattleandTacoma, WAwere the next fastest markets with 6 median days on market.

The most competitive market in August wasOakland, CAwhere 82.3% of homes sold above list price, followed by 78.3% inSan Jose, CA, 74.8% inRochester, NY, 71.7% inSan Francisco, and 71.0% inWorcester, MA.


Austin, TXhad the nation’s highest price growth, rising 35.7% since last year to $475,000.Phoenixhad the second highest growth at 25.2% year-over-year price growth, followed bySalt Lake City(24.3%),Tucson, AZ(23.5%), andNorth Port, FL(21.5%).

2 metros saw price declines in August:Milwaukee(-1.6%), andBridgeport, CT(-1.1%).


New Yorkled the nation in year-over-year sales growth, up 64.8%, followed byHonolulu, HI, up 47.1%.Nassau County, NYrounded out the top three with sales up 32.0% from a year ago.

New Orleanssaw the largest decline in sales since last year, falling 23.4%. Home sales inSalt Lake CityandWarren, MIdeclined by 16.1% and 14.3%, respectively.


Austin, TXhad the highest increase in the number of homes for sale, up 5.5% year over year, followed byVirginia Beach, VA(3.9%) andColumbus, OH(2.8%).

Baton Rouge, LAhad the largest decrease in overall active listings, falling 52.8% since last August.Salt Lake City(-51.8%),North Port, FL(-43.9%), andWest Palm Beach, FL(-37.5%) also saw far fewer homes available on the market than a year ago.

Redfin Estimate

Miami(86.7%) had the largest share of homes predicted to sell for below list price, according to Redfin Estimate data, followed byFort Lauderdale, FL(83.4%) andWest Palm Beach, FL(82.0%).

Oakland, CA(91.4%) had the largest share of homes predicted to sell at or above list price, followed bySan Jose, CA(89.8%) andSan Francisco(86.2%).

In Other NEWS

By Troy Warren

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