More homebuyers requesting tours, but way less are making offers

Register now

Though the number of homebuyers requesting house tours grew, those actually making an offer fell considerably, according to Redfin.

Buyers requesting home tours in March rose 6.2% year-over-year and 2.6% month-over-month, but the share of homebuyers that actually made an offer plummeted 17.1% from a year ago and 14.7% from February to March.

The fact that home shoppers are making fewer offers despite more interest in tours could be a result of tight supply. Inventory constraints are both limiting options and putting upward pressure on home prices, creating affordability challenges and sometimes even requiring consumers to pay more than a home's worth to secure a purchase.

The good news is that housing supply is expected to increase somewhat. Potential home sellers have delayed listing their houses recently, but listings should grow this spring.

"Abnormally late winter weather and an early Easter likely delayed homeowners planning to list their homes for sale in March," said Redfin Chief Economist Nela Richardson in a press release.

"While inventory levels are still not nearly high enough to meet strong buyer demand, we do expect new listings to pick up in April and May," she said.

Mortgage applications also rose slightly last week, suggesting homebuyers are preparing for the Spring buying season, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.

In March, the number of homes for sale fell 13.6% from the previous year, while new listings decreased 7.3%. March marked the 34th consecutive month of declining housing inventory.

Redfin's Housing Demand Index fell three points to 105 year-over-year in March.

The Demand Index is based on consumers requesting home tours and writing offers, and is adjusted for market share growth. A reading of 100 represents the historical average between the three-year period from January 2013 to December 2015, according to Redfin.

For reprint and licensing requests for this article, click here.
Housing inventory Housing market Home prices Purchase Real estate Redfin Mortgage Bankers Association