It’s A Wash: Home Price Appreciation Outpaces savings From Low Rates

Inman News

While purchasing power rose by 6.9% year over year in July, home prices climbed 8.2%.

According to a new study released Thursday by Redfin, the average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was roughly 3 percent in July and August 2020, which meant a homebuyer could afford a $516,500 home on $2,500 per month with a 20 percent down payment in the typical market. In July 2019, the same homebuyer wanting to pay the same monthly cost could afford a $483,250 home when the average mortgage rate was 3.77 percent.

That $33,250 rise in purchasing power represents a 6.9 percent increase year over year. But over the same time period, home prices increase 8.2 percent, which is due to a combination of low mortgage rates and low inventory.

“Low mortgage rates are motivating many people to purchase a home, particularly those who want more space to work from home,” Redfin Chief Economist Daryl Fairweather said in a statement. “But because there hasn’t been an increase in the number of homes for sale since rates started dropping with the onset of the pandemic, many buyers end up competing for the same homes, driving up prices.”

Baltimore, for example, saw the number of homes up for sale in July drop 20 percent year over year.

“There’s a perfect storm in the housing market right now,” said Jason Allen, Redfin’s market manager in Baltimore. “People are more comfortable staying in their homes; they’re investing in pools, offices and better backyards instead of moving.”

“But at the same time, there are suddenly a lot more people who want those amenities, so we’re seeing this huge wave of buyers,” Allen added. “We’re meeting far more clients who want to buy a home than sell a home.”