Glenn Kelman Profile picture
May 25, 2021 15 tweets 3 min read Read on X
1 of 15: It has been hard to convey, through anecdotes or data, how bizarre the U.S. housing market has become. For example, a Bethesda, Maryland homebuyer working with @Redfin included in her written offer a pledge to name her first-born child after the seller. She lost.
2 of 15: There are now more Realtors than listings.
3 of 15: Inventory is down 37% year over year to a record low. The typical home sells in 17 days, a record low. Home prices are up a record amount, 24% year over year, to a record high. And still homes sell on average for 1.7% higher than the asking price, another record.
4 of 15: But in two of America’s largest cities, inventory has increased, in New York by 28%, in San Francisco by 77%. San Francisco hasn’t had an inventory increase this large since 2008. And still in both markets, prices are increasing.
5 of 15: In 2020, new-construction permits were *down* 13% in DC and New York, 40% in LA, 48% in Chicago, 50% in Seattle, 79% in San Francisco. Permits were *up* 25% in Miami, 56% in Vegas, 96% in Greenville, 122% in Detroit, 246% in Knoxville.
6 of 15: Lumber prices are up 300%.
7 of 15: In Redfin’s annual survey of nearly 2,000 homebuyers, 63% reported having bid on a home they hadn’t seen in person.
8 of 15: In an April survey of 600 users who had relocated in the past year, about two thirds of the people who moved got a house the same size or bigger, but about the same proportion, two thirds, spent the same or *less* on housing.
9 of 15: Even though most of the people who moved got a bigger home, 78% reported having the same or more disposable income after their move. Idaho home prices could triple and still seem affordable to a Californian.
10 of 15: For low-tax states, 4 people move in for every 1 who leaves. For Texas, this ratio is 5:1; for Florida, 7:1. Cites & states have no leverage to raise taxes, after many promised new money for social justice; the federal government will have to fund long-term investments.
11 of 15: This migration to lower-cost areas may lead to lower workforce participation. For many families @Redfin has relocated, the money saved on housing costs lets one parent stop working. A wave of Redfin customers are retiring early.
12 of 15: Lenders are calling employers to confirm that the homebuyer will have permission to work remotely when the pandemic ends. Rates are lower for loans on primary residences, and the lender also wants to make sure the borrower actually plans to work after getting the loan.
13 of 15: The average housing budget for out-of-towners moving to Nashville was $720K, ~50% higher than locals’ $485K budget. It used to be coastal elites who worried that every adult in the family had to win a career lottery, just to afford a home. Now that feeling may spread.
14 of 15: it’s not just income that’s k-shaped, but mobility. 90% of people earning $100,000+ per year expect to be able to work virtually, compared to 10% of those earning $40,000 or less per year. The folks who need low-cost housing the most have the least flexibility to move.
15 of 15: an investor recently said, with an ancient touch of awe but also greed, that one source of America’s miraculous economic recovery was the bounty of “the land itself.” We have more room to grow than we ever imagined. We just have to make sure that benefits everyone.

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More from @glennkelman

Jan 25, 2023
1 of 16: On 3.15.22, we said housing was “cresting,” and that it was “crazy for demand to be so strong in the midst of war, market volatility & inflation.” The market worsened each month through November. Now we believe the market, while still fragile, is recovering. Here's why!
2 of 16: In the second week of November, the number of people going on their first home tour with Redfin agents was down 33% year over year. By the third week of January, it was still down, but by about half that amount: 19%.
3 of 16: Comparing those same periods, the number making offers was -35% in November, -27% in January. The number requesting meetings to discuss listing a home was -35% in November, -25% in January. Again, still down, but from unsustainable pandemic highs, & better than November.
Read 16 tweets
Mar 15, 2022
1 of 16: The bidding wars that opened 2022 may be cresting. A buyer took possession of a Florida condo after a broken elevator prevented the seller from moving out. Irate from having paid so much, the buyer changed the locks and charged the seller $10,000 to access her furniture.
In Salt Lake City and Boston, police have had to direct the car traffic to open houses. Even in San Francisco, a line for open houses stretched three blocks. Then this happened in Raleigh:…
It feels crazy for demand to be so strong in the midst of war, market volatility and inflation. We expected rates to increase over 2022 from 3.3% to 3.8%. That happened just in January. Then, mostly yesterday in a few hours, we got a hike of nearly the same size, to 4.4%.
Read 16 tweets
Sep 18, 2021
@davenewworld_2 1 of 6: Where Redfin's concerned, this is untrue. We offer every homeowner a choice of a cash offer or a brokered sale, sharing the data we use to price the home. We tell the owner he or she will net more money via a brokered sale. We would rather sell the home without owning it.
@davenewworld_2 2 of 6: We'd never intentionally underpay or overpay for a home. It's madness to overpay for a single home in order to set a high-water mark for other sales. We reward the analysts who price homes on the accuracy with which they predict the ultimate sale price.
@davenewworld_2 3 of 6: There is a conspiracy between iBuyers, but it's to pay lower commissions to the brokers representing the buyers of the homes we sell, by about 60 basis points so far. This may be one reason some brokers dislike iBuyers.
Read 6 tweets
Jun 12, 2020
1 of 10: Redfin just published our weekly report on housing demand, and once again it’s loaded with numbers & juicy insights from our agents. Demand is 25% above pre-pandemic levels. Buyers haven’t “batted an eyelash” over the possibility of a resurgent pandemic or now protests.
2 of 10: Bidding wars are “bananas” with homes “flying off the shelves.” Sale prices are up 3.1%; asking prices are up 9.9%. Some agents worry about a bubble, but record-low rates and inventory are what's driving prices up, not speculation. Credit is loosening but still tight.
3 of 10: New listings are still down 15%, but improving. Redfin Seattle agent David Palmer reports: “I’ll be bringing on double-digit listings in June and expect the same in July.”
Read 10 tweets
May 22, 2020
1 of 6: Redfin’s seasonally adjusted home-buying demand is now 16.5% above pre-pandemic levels. Of the listings that accepted an offer last week, 45% had been on the market less than two weeks. At least for housing demand, this is the definition of a V-shaped recovery.
2 of 6: Inventory's an x-factor. Last week, listings were still down 23%. Some @Redfin agents say sellers will soon start listing more homes. Others say sellers worry about a second wave of infections. We’ve gotten more confident we can sell homes while sheltering in place.
3 of 6: A @Redfin Nashville agent on bidding wars: “I’m standing in the living room with a buyer who decides ‘this is the one’ and by the time we get out to the car to write the offer, it’s sold.” Comparing last week to the same week last year, median listing prices were up 6%.
Read 6 tweets
May 14, 2020
1 of 7: Seasonally adjusted home-buying demand just surpassed pre-pandemic levels, by 5.5%. It feels like the economy has officially split in two. For the lucky ones, this hasn’t been a recession at all, but a sale: on stocks, on money itself, & on houses, which dipped in March.
2 of 7: New listings have increased every week for the last four weeks, but can’t keep up with demand. Inventory is down 24%. Lenders’ forbearance anxieties are still limiting who can get a loan, but it’s a bonanza for those who do: a 3.25% rate.
3 of 7: Now bidding wars are coming back with a vengeance. Seattle @Redfin agent David Hokenson reports, “My client was in a 24-offer bidding war for a 1960s home that grandma had never updated. It was listed for $360k, we bid $400k, and didn’t even come close.”
Read 7 tweets

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