2022 kicks off with hottest January on record

by Liz Hughes

The new year kicked off with the hottest January on record, despite having the first pending sales decline since June of 2020, according to a recent Redfin report

Last month, 45% of homes found a buyer within two weeks of being listed, while 35% went under contract within a week, rates Redfin officials say are the highest they’ve seen for this time of year. 

While January was hot, pending home sales fell 1% during the four weeks ended Jan. 23. It was the first year-over-year decline since June 2020. Lack of buyers wasn’t the issue, it was the lack of sellers. 

In January, new listings fell 12%, the largest decline since June 2020, as the number of homes for sale hit another record low. The median asking price rose 13% to $360,281, just below October’s all-time high, while the median sale price increased 14% year over year to $357,300, according to the report. 

Early spring 2022 is poised to be the hottest housing market on record but it may be short-lived, according to Redfin chief economist Daryl Fairweather. 

“Now that the stock market is down about 10% from the start of the year and mortgage rates are up nearly half a point, the housing market could lose its luster soon,” he said. “If that happens, I expect the inventory shortage to finally reach its nadir because overpriced homes will start to pile up on the market.”

More than a third of all homes (35%) went under contract with an accepted offer within one week of being listed, up from 30% a year prior. Additionally, 41% of homes sold above list price, up from 32% last year. 

The report noted a 2% week-over-week decrease in mortgage applications during the week ended Jan. 21. Thirty-year mortgage rates were flat at 3.55% for the week ended Jan. 27, the highest level since March of 2020. 

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