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 Economist Daryl Fairweather. “That’s especially true in the Sun Belt; home prices are up more than 20% from last year in Austin 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%) and Bridgeport, 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.
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 in New Orleans (-23%), Salt Lake City (-16%) and Warren, MI (-14%). The largest gains were in places where sales were still somewhat depressed in August 2020, including New York (+65%), Honolulu(+47%), and Nassau County, NY (+32%).