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The share of stale listings is growing

As the housing market cools, homes are taking longer to sell, leading to an overall increase in inventory

The share of for-sale homes listed for longer than a month grew in July. During the month, the share of homes that were listed for 30 days or longer without going under contract rose 12.5% from July 2021 to 61.2%, according to a report from Redfin published on Tuesday.

The report analyzed for sale listings in the 50 most populous U.S. metropolitan areas, identifying the share of “stale” listings, or those that were on the market for at least 30 days without going under contract.

This is the first year-over-year increase in stale listings since the beginning of the pandemic and the second largest uptick in Redfin’s records, which date back to 2012. The only other time this metric has increased more was in April 2020, when it rose 13.9% as the housing market ground to a halt at the start of the pandemic.

In addition, the share of homes on the market for 60 days or longer rose 6.8% year over year to 33.5%, the first increase since the start of the pandemic.

The rise in stale listings has helped increase the nationwide housing inventory. In July, the total number of homes for sale was up 4% year over year due to homes staying on the market longer, as the number of new listings was down 6% compared to a year ago.  

“People want to know whether we’ve officially shifted from a seller’s market to a buyer’s market. While there’s not a clear line separating those two ideas, homes sitting on the market longer is a point in buyers’ favor,” Taylor Marr, Redfin’s deputy chief economist, said in a statement. “Buyers can take their time making careful decisions about homes without worrying so much about bidding wars, offering over the asking price and waiving contingencies.”

Oakland, California saw the largest yearly increase in for-sale listing sitting on the market for at least 30 days, with a jump of 60.7% in July to an overall share of 49.9% of listings. Phoenix, Arizona recorded the second largest increase, as the share rose 54.5% to 60.1%, with Austin (+50.9%), Anaheim (+49.7%), Riverside (+46.7%), Fort Worth (+43.4%), Dallas (+42.9%), Washington, D.C. (+42.5%), Sacramento (+41.7%) and Seattle (+41.3%) rounding out the top 10.

Oakland, Phoenix, Austin, Anaheim, Riverside, Sacramento and Seattle are also among the top 20 housing markets that cooled fastest in the first half of 2022.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania had the largest share of homes on the market for at least 30 days at 80.2%, up 33.3% compared to a year ago. On the other end of the spectrum, Portland, Oregon had the smallest share of homes on the market for at least 30 days at 47.0%, up just 15.0% from a year ago.

Fort Lauderdale, Florida was the only metro analyzed where the share of stale inventory declined year over year, dropping roughly 1% in July to 63.0%.

Industry professionals attribute the rising share of stale housing inventory to increasing mortgage rates pushing some buyers out of the market.

“A lot of sellers are telling me they feel that they’ve missed out on the hot market,” said Christopher Johns, a Houston-based Redfin agent. “I’m reminding prospective sellers that we’re not in a housing-market crash; it’s a correction. If sellers list their home for slightly less than they would have five months ago, they’re still likely to get a solid offer.”

According to Redfin, while the typical time on market is rising in most markets, homes are still selling faster than they were in 2018 and 2019.