Here Come the New Listings of Existing Homes, Prices Drop Further, Demand Remains at Collapsed Levels

Active listings rise to highest in over three years.

By Wolf Richter for WOLF STREET.

The national median price of existing single-family houses, condos, and co-ops whose sales closed in November dropped to $387,600, down by 6.3% from the peak in June 2022, according to data from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) today.

2023 is the first year since the Housing Bust when the seasonal high in June was below the all-time high a year earlier. In other words, June 2023 was the first “lower high” since the Housing Bust (purple line in the chart) and prices have dropped further since June along seasonal patterns (historic data via YCharts):

Prices of new houses, sold by homebuilders, have already dropped 18% from the peak a year ago, as builders aggressively target the new reality with lower prices, smaller houses, “de-amenitizing” spec houses (cheaper appliances, countertops, etc.), and big mortgage-rate buydowns, thereby successfully competing with homeowners selling their existing homes (which we discussed here).

The New Listings are coming out of the woodwork.

New listings of existing homes normally drop after the spring selling season and plunge going into the holidays.

But in November, new listings fell by only 22,000 to a total of 316,900; while a year ago, they plunged by 65,280 over the same period. Between 2017 and 2022, they dropped on average by 56,000 over the same period, according to data from They’d risen in August, when they normally drop. And in the other months of the second half, they barely dipped, when they normally drop sharply.

So in November, new listings (red line) were higher year-over-year for the first time since May 2022 (blue line). This is a good sign for inventory of vacant homes that is now slowly starting to come out of the woodwork.

When an existing homeowner buys another home because of a move or trying to upgrade or downgrade, they also have a then vacant home that they moved out of. Normally they would sell the vacant home. So they take one home off the market (the one they bought) and they put one home on the market (the one they’re trying to sell). So this creates one new listing and one sale, and the impact on inventory overall = +1 -1 = 0.

First-time buyers change the equation, taking one home off the market without putting another home on the market.

And other situations change the equation the other way, putting a home on the market without taking a home off the market such as: new home construction, or when a homeowner moves into a rental, moves into a long-term care facility, dies, moves overseas, etc.

But during the pandemic-era price spike, many homeowners decided to hang on to their newly vacant homes to benefit from the price spike all the way to the top. But the price spike ended in 2022. So we’ve seen vacant homes show up on the rental market, only to be withdrawn, and we’ve seen them show up in the vacation rental market, as homeowners attempt to cover their mortgage payments and other carrying costs, but landlording and vacation rentals are not always easy. And now we’re seeing some of these vacant homes show up as new listings.

Active listings rose to 754,800 homes, the highest since August 2020, squeaking by last year’s high. During normal seasonal patterns before the pandemic, active listings would fall in October and November. Slowly but surely.

Active listings are inventory minus homes listed as “sale pending” (data via

Inventory for sale, at 1.13 million homes, was up 1% year-over-year, and the first year-over-year increase since April.

Months’ supply dipped to 3.5 months from 3.6 months in October. Both are the highest since June 2020. Supply in 2017 through 2019 ranged between 3.0 and 4.3 months (historic data via YCharts).

Median days on the market rose to 52 days in November before the homes were either sold or pulled off the market, the highest since March, according to data from This metric reflects in part how quickly sellers pull their listings back off the market when they don’t get the hoped-for response:

Demand remains at collapsed levels.

Sales of existing homes ticked up a smidge to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 3.82 million in November from the collapsed levels in October, which had been the lowest since the worst three months of the Housing Bust in November in 2008 (matched it) and July and August 2010.

Sales compared to prior Novembers (historic data via YCharts):

  • From 2022: -7.3%.
  • From 2021: -39.7%.
  • From 2019: -28.2%.
  • From 2018: -26.7%.

Actual sales – not the seasonally adjusted annual rate – fell further, to 300,000 homes.

Seasonally, January and February mark the low months of the year in terms of closed sales. Sales that closed in those two months reflect the lull in activity over the holidays. June is usually when closed sales peak, reflecting the end of “spring selling season” in the prior months. During the second half of the year closed sales decline (data via NAR):

Sales changes by region, % change year-over-year, from the beaten-down levels last year:


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  155 comments for “Here Come the New Listings of Existing Homes, Prices Drop Further, Demand Remains at Collapsed Levels

  1. The Real Tony says:

    All eyes will be on the Seattle real estate market. The rest of the entire U.S. real estate market will follow what Seattle does.

    • Lauren says:


    • dang says:

      First of all, thanks for the meticulously honest presentation of the data.

      The data support the conjecture that there is a dislocation in the so called market for housing that will eventually be resolved one way or another.

      One wonders whether the resolution will favor the villian, like the birth of the QE era, or the victims of the QE era which includes the largest potential voting block in American history. With a voting turnout record that suggests a depressed electorate that have ceded their constitutional rights to whom ever is charge.

    • CCCB says:

      Hope not. Mr. & Mrs. Bezos just moved here to Miami from Seattle.

      We’re crowded enough as it is with the entire east coast moving down. We don’t need the west coast too!!!!

      • Longtime Listener says:

        Please, have you seen Jeff and Lauren recently? They’ll fight right in on a pair of gixxers in tank tops and flip flops.

        Total trash

    • Hamza says:

      Oh boy, mortgage rates keep dropping like a rock. Wen crash?

    • Bosley Swain says:

      I always thought that was Miami, Eff El Lay.

    • Marvin Harris says:

      No lol

  2. jon says:

    Thanks WR for this report.
    Sales volume have gone down.

    But prices are not going down in my neighborhood. My neighborhood is HOT as it can be

    • Depth Charge says:

      The stages of denial:

      “Not in my state”

      “Not in my town”

      “Not my area”

      “Not in my zip code”

      “Not on my street”

      “Not my house”


      “I never liked that house anyway”

      • 91B20 1stCav (AUS) says:

        DC – have always hoped you maintained your sense of humor somewhere – this is classic, thanks!

        may we all find a better day.

  3. J. Pow says:

    Time to thank me again. I made housing unaffordable for new home buyers and jailed all homeowners into low mortgage rates so they cannot afford to move anymore.

    With collapse of home sales, I will single handedly kill half of the real estate industry in this country.

    You are welcome.

    • Paul says:

      Surely you don’t actually believe yourself?

    • JD says:

      Good. RE agents are mostly worthless. An escrow company and a web site should be all that it takes to sell a house in the US.

      The RE cartel has colluded to charge non-value added costs that artificially drive up housing prices. As they are on trial in two major court cases (one already decided against the RE mafia), I have a dream that Realtors will experience 90% unemployment rates within 5 years. 🤞🤞🤞

      • El Katz says:


        Try selling a home in a state where you don’t live, that is 3,000 miles from your home, that is mostly unoccupied, without the support of a good realtor.

        I just went through that. The realtor i used had a person – at no additional cost to me – that contacted me weekly on the conditions at the house (pool, lawn, landscaping), saw to it that some small items were done (he did them – ran pumps, kept p-traps full of water, adjusted the irrigation for the different weather conditions, etc.), helped me arrange to ship a car (he went to the house, removed personal items from it, sent the personal items to me – again at no additional cost – met the transportation company to make sure the car was loaded and photographed the car after it was loaded on the trailer to document the condition). He also handled the inspection repair coordination, met the vendors for the repairs (even on weekends) at no additional charge. The realtor and “the guy” even paid the vendors with their own funds on the promise I would repay them to expedite the repairs.

        For me to have gone back and forth multiple times over the 4 months it was listed would have cost nearly the amount of the realtor’s commission. Plus the hassle. Plus other personal things I won’t get in to (like selling a house as a trustee of a mentally incompetent person – where you would have not had the benefit of the lawyers for the real estate agency asking the right questions so all was properly documented and wouldn’t blow up at closing).

        The fact that you have a bug up your arse about realtors is more reflective on you than it is on them. I have sold multiple homes (like 11 to be exact) and have always used a realtor and never complained about their extracting their commission. Yes, it’s a weird business model. But I certainly wouldn’t want to deal with all the “Karen’s and Chad’s”, the “looky loos”, conduct open houses, and let random people case the house without any screening and their knowing that no one is there full time because I would not have been able to be reached 24/7. That would be like selling a car on Faceplant Marketplace.

        And, no. I’m not a realtor, not married to one, not related to one, and have no interest in any real estate ventures.

        PS: Selling your own house is like drawing up your own will or trust with an online app. You might do fine and save a few grand. Or you might blow your brains out and leave such a mess behind for your heirs you can’t even imagine.

        • PCSKIER says:

          And try BUYING a house when you live in another state or city. So many of the things you list are the same. Buyers want to get on Zillow, call the listing agents to schedule seeing the 12 different homes they want to see when they fly in for the weekend? And meet/deal with 12 different individuals, each of whom has an agenda that does not benefit the buyer…no thanks!

        • Nick Kelly says:

          Agree. AND, there is absolutely nothing to stop selling it yourself, Craig’s list etc. But you can’t put it on MLS??
          Should a car dealer also put private sales on his lot?
          What it to stop FSBOs from creating their own listing service? Nothing, and it’s been tried, one was called ‘Principals Only’

        • jon says:

          Real estate agents add value but not that much based on where I live where a median home price is 1 million usd.

          It means to buy/sell home , where I do the search, see the homes myself, paying real estate agent 3% ie $30K for few hours of work is not worth it.

          Real estate agent would tell buyers: The seller is paying the commission not the buyer. But the question is: who is paying the seller.

          In essence, real estate agent profession is ripe for drastically reduced compensation.

          Technology has made all things possible with opening of data and other relevant information.

        • JamesO says:

          i totally agree El Katz. good realtors add value.

          i’m not a realtor, and have no family or friends who are realtors.

        • Einhal says:

          I disagree with all of you. Realtors are largely parasites. I don’t want to deal with one as a buyer or a seller.

        • El Katz says:


          You’re entitled to your misguided opinion.

          There are many other parasites that I would indict first…. “Accidente” attorneys for one….. class action lawyers another…. the hospital and drug industry (wait until you open an envelope and see a charge for a drug billed to Medicare was $148,000 for one course), HVAC companies that charge $480 to replace a capacitor that costs $13 and then want another $480 to replace the one right next to the first that cost $11 and located in the same compartment), congress critters,and that’s just the beginning. Realtors are pretty far down the list. At least I got some value out of that relationship.

          And I’m sure you work for free and provide excellent value as well.

          Oh… by the way. Those of you that may end up selling a house by remote control…. make sure you understand the requirements associated with maintaining the homeowner’s insurance on the property. Leaving a house empty can invalidate your coverage if it’s deemed “vacant”.

        • Blake says:

          Stock brokers and travel agents have their value also, for the right crowd. And you pay a premium for that. But technology has replaced the majority of what realtors do, and they will go the way of travel agents and stock brokers, for 90% of the population who can handle it themselves with the aid of technology. Sure for certain people they need an accountant, and others it’s so simple TurboTax can take care of it. Or maybe you have a personal insurance agent….but most just call progressive or GEICO, etc. It’s crazy to pretend like these people are undoubtedly needed and all their inflated salaries are rightfully earned. This area is due for a disruption, and it will benefit a number of people outside of the realtor industry. I only hope that disruption comes sooner than later. Not because I feel realtors are overpaid or that I care that much, but because I just want to walk into the house I found on Zillow and take a look, without the annoyance of having to go through a 3rd party and their availability. I also don’t want to walk into a dealer lot and work with a salesman who knows less about the vehicle than I do (at least TESLA gets this). Times are changing.

        • Einhal says:

          Blake, it’s not a matter of Tesla getting it, but because of states having unconstitutional dealer laws that exempt Tesla.

        • Blake says:

          So you think it’s because of state rules and if those didn’t exist Tesla would have dealerships and salespeople all over the place? Doubt it. Their business model goes without. I think what you mean is they aren’t allowed to sell in some states since they don’t use dealerships.

        • Einhal says:

          No. What I’m saying is that in the absence of the mandatory franchise rules, I think OTHER manufacturers would be selling directly to consumers too.

        • Bandon says:

          “In the old free days all I wanted was a sharp sword and a straight path to my enemies. Now no paths are straight and my sword is useless.”
          ― Robert E. Howard

        • RICHARD says:

          This is an amazing example of how a realtor provided you with excellent service and received a well-deserved payment for going above and beyond — this is an exception — in many markets and situations — likely most — this work is never needed — but yes clearly this realtor went above and beyond and you received great benefit from the services provided!

        • George Krenshaw says:

          Okay. I got it.
          So it should work like this: Two guys have a stomach ache. The guy who needs two Rolaids should pay the same as the guy with stomach cancer who need surgery, chemo and radiation, and two weeks at rehab.
          Yeah, that sounds good.

        • cresus says:

          True. The only problem is the army of bad , unprofessional, lazy and dishonest realtors. But the good ones are worth their cost and more. Like any professional.

      • Glen says:

        I see a place for realtors but a reduction that better fits the time and effort they put in. The commission on my parents house was 90K and it sold itself plus we paid to stage it. If I sold my house currently it would likely be 30K if I negotiated down. Admittedly it has to do with the market conditions as to the level of effort and a buyer, while getting the commission baked into the house is more effort with searching out homes and getting driven around and such. If it is a seller’s market it would be worth 15-20K to get a book and figure out how to sell by owner.

        • El Katz says:

          If you live locally, have at it. With the elaborate frauds out there (title fraud, reports of houses “stolen” by someone recording a false sale, someone listing your house that’s for sale as a rental then collecting money for it and the people show the cops a contract – the $20K would look like a bargain before you unwound all that….) I especially wouldn’t try doing that from any distance.

          The only way I’d FSBO a house would be if I lived in it and someone was home the bulk of the time. Buying a house from a private party – unless I knew them personally – would be a non-starter. Title companies aren’t always that thorough and the disclaimers in a title policy are broad enough that you can drive a Peterbuilt through them – especially if “fraud” is discovered.

        • Blake says:

          Buying a house directly from the owner is a great way to do business. I’ve done it. You save a lot, they save a lot, and it works if you know what you’re getting. However, you still need the title BS and attorney BS and a bunch of paperwork to make it happen, even if you pay cash. The realtor and mortgage industry loves this , because it’s so complicated that nobody wants to mess with it themselves. It’s like the Tax laws, if you make it super complicated it intimidates folks into avoiding any attempts to do it themselves. Someone needs to simplify the process, and they will, because it doesn’t need to be this hard.

        • Einhal says:

          And you think realtors are thorough? LOL.

          The title fraud issue can happen just as easily with a realtor as with a FSBO.

          Also, how exactly is using a realtor going to stop someone form listing your empty house as a rental?

        • Frank says:

          Exactly. Compensation should be related to the time and effort put in. If a slow market and the Realtor needs to work harder, pay for advertising, more showings, etc. more compensation. If a hot market, they are doing very little. The level of effort for a $300K home vs. $600K is no different, so why twice the compensation? 6% is ridiculous for a high value home. Totally arbitrary.

        • Pilot Doc says:

          I have sold multiple houses by owner. You can list on MLS for $400. No book required. There is very little to it.

      • roddy6667 says:

        I said the same thing over 30 years ago, but people keep paying 6% to have agents handle the sale. There is obviously some value seen by the majority of people that you don’t see.

        • Blake says:

          Or it’s complicated enough that they don’t feel the effort is worth the savings, or they don’t feel it’s possible. That’s how I would feel. The whole process lacks a technology partner/liaison and is way overcomplicated. What Zillow did for the search aspect is what someone needs to come along and do for the sales aspect. Then, FSBO will become a thing.

        • Gattopardo says:

          @ Blake,

          “Or it’s complicated enough that they don’t feel the effort is worth the savings, or they don’t feel it’s possible. That’s how I would feel.”

          AND because high-end home sellers are paranoid that they’ll degrade the image of their property if FSBO. Realtors catering to the $3m+ (and really $10m+) are ALL ABOUT putting on fancy airs. The “look how sophisticated and successful we are” propaganda works because of that.

          I can see 5% on a $500k house. It would be easy for the two sides to reasonably deserve $25k ($12.5k each side) . 5% on a $6 mil home? $300k? Come on. And there are agents in San Diego who “sell” $100m per year. (quotes are because they don’t sell anything at that level, you ain’t talking anyone with that money into anything, the house sells itself)

        • Matt says:

          The only reason Realtors exist, is because of access to the MLS. It is the biggest home sales system database.

          You are really paying for that and to have them show you the house, which you only need the code to get in, but can’t unless you have a realtor.

          The realtor also puts together the sales contract, with your help.

          The actual sale is done by the the title company, not the realtor. And what they give is title insurance, so you have recourse if the title is not clear. And they record the deed.

          You can buy a property without either, if you pay cash and do the change of title yourself, it’s just some paperwork and fees at the county records office.

        • Kracow says:

          There’s no value I sold One of our multimillion dollar homes and we negotiated a flat rate with the seller and buyer home sold less than 48 hours.

          Friends just sold their 12 million home in Beverly hills let’s just say they only offered a flat rate to the buyer and seller and that house was gone in 2 weeks as well.

          Who is stupid enough to pay 6% on any home over like a million dollars That’s just a waste of money

        • Morbaine says:

          When I worked at a bank’s special assets department, what drove me nuts was the asymmetric comp structure when we dealt with realtors for our bank owned properties.

          When we had junk rentals to sell $25k – $50k value, the commission floor was $2,500, but there was no ceiling in place.

          I’ve bought two and sold one home using flat fee realtors and saved thousands and have been floored that none of my friends would do the same when they bought/sold homes.

        • 91B20 1stCav (AUS) says:

          …mebbe this situation resembles the opinion that RE is ‘overagented’ in the US in the way that our legal profession is ‘overlawyered’?

          may we all find a better day.

      • Kent S. says:

        I was a mortgage lender from 2016-2022 following 35 years in commercial lending/banking. Most realtors that I met were in fact good to excellent. Now, as a banker, they seemed pushy, impatient, and arrogant, but as a mortgage lender I realized just how much they were helping their clients and how many steps and considerations there are in the homebuying process. These folks were some of the hardest-working people I’ve ever met…. As a mortgage lender, when an applicant opportunity arose, I stopped what I was doing and took an application. Realtors are not only ALWAYS on-call, they often have to drop everything and GO somewhere for an unknown length of time. This means family comes second, if you want to make money.

        It’s like most professions – if you’re truly in it to help people, it can be very rewarding. If you just want a paycheck, it can be bad for everyone.

    • Robert Frank Walker says:

      Best reply I’ve heard all day, yours truly Covid-19

    • Phoenix_Ikki says:

      There are so many things we can thank you for Papa Pow Pow…too bad I am not the 0.0001% though, if I am, I would be kissing the ground you walk on for giving us some much liquidity and inflate asset price by even more than our imagination…

  4. Low Inventory says:

    I saw some “real estate commenters” constantly speak about “low inventory”. We certainly know that the U.S population or families did not double in last 5 years, but the prices (nearly) did. This is not about the “low inventory” but about the demand.

    In last 10 years, people learned “not to sell”, because the rents/prices appreciated 5-10% each year and the forbearance process is incredibly slow, and open to intervention. So, even people may have financial trouble, they still hold onto their 3rd, 4th, 5th properties, because they are sure that they will be worth 25% more a few more years later. Even some builders are renting, instead of selling.

    This seems like changing slowly though. In my area, I can observe that unrealistically priced homes are waiting for many months. A lot of price drops (although some are quite ridiculous, like dropping to 880K from 890K) And the builder-landlords seem to fed up with the tenants. There is (a little) more stronger motivation to sell. But some of them still have the hope that the prices may appreciate exorbitantly in a few years.

    • Einhal says:

      Yep, that’s exactly what I was referring to in the other thread. The problem is that the Fed has created an environment where everyone is convinced that assets only go up, so that it never makes sense to exchange it for cash, that will always go down.

      Think about it. Ever since 2009 or so, if you bought stock at any given time, you were guaranteed within a year to have it appreciate. That was largely true for real estate too, but not to the same degree.

      That has to change for people to trust holding dollars again.

      • dang says:

        Go Union, the only way that the little people can influence policy that is dominated by the american aristocracy. A breed of libertarian hucksters that benefited from the opportunities provided by the men and women who they consider suckers.

        The very thing America rebelled against, Great fortunes controlling, not only commerce, but the very way of life of the landed English gentry that were business men in the colonies.

        The price of housing has yet to fall significantly, even as demand falls which is counter intuitive to what the Fed has been selling that financial conditions are restrictive, demonstrates that there is still too damn much liquidity in the system. The Fed is still in charge, controlling the free markets.

      • SoCalBeachDude says:

        Folks are well aware that assets go up and assets go down.

      • Gattopardo says:

        Hindsight, Einhal. There was absolutely NO guarantee. More like deep concern that stocks were overpriced and ripe for a clobbering.

        Had there been widespread belief of guaranteed gains, stocks would have rallied all the way to 2018 prices by 2012.

        • Einhal says:

          No, of course not. You had to know that the Fed would promote inflation and keep totally irresponsible monetary policy for a decade.

          But now that people think that’s the status quoa and that the Fed “has their back,” no one wants to sell assets.

  5. Phoenix_Ikki says:

    Can the Titanic finally be slowly moving the other way around?….still really doesn’t feel like it in SoCal. Couple of houses I monitored in around Long Beach area just sold for obscene amount of money, either last of the FOMO or someone really think $1.5M is affordable…

    Will be interesting to see when mortgage rates drop more (if) and what the next Spring season will look like. MSM seems to think with mortgage rate drop we will be going back to bidding wars again….I personally don’t think that will be the case but who knows..

    • Wolf Richter says:

      Mortgage rates started dropping in Nov, and weekly mortgage applications inched up a hair but remained near multidecade lows, and in the latest week, reported today, mortgage applications dropped again.

      • Phoenix_Ikki says:

        What’s your take Wolf? There seems to be a counter narrative that if mortgage rate do somehow drop to 5%, it will actually cause a flood of existing homes coming online, and instead of driving up price higher because of sooo much pend up demand like most RE insiders and MSM seems to think, it will actually cause price to decrease because of sellers competition and home price still way out of whack relative to income ratio and demand to match supply won’t be in a balance again until price come back down to a more fundamental level..

        • MM says:

          No way will 30YRFMs go that low. That would imply a 2% 10 year.

        • dang says:

          I remember buying an overpriced home in 1981 or so, paying 15% interest with the highest house payment I’ve ever made. On a starter home in a troubled neighborhood less than one third of the sq ft of my current abode.

          Housing is the largest market in America. The gap between the market clearing asking and selling price is not trivial. It is a claim of potential calamity that is successfully challenged, simply because it hasn’t happened yet.

      • Ciprian says:

        All great backwards looking data. Where do we go from here with bond yields dropping at least 100 basis points from peak? I think all forward indicators move up from here again. No further collapse. No recession, Atlanta fed shows almost 3% GDP currently.

    • jon says:

      Nothing goes up or down in a straight line.

      Let’s wait and see.

  6. Chris says:

    Lots of the listings in the areas we’re looking in have very nice vacant homes. Of the ones we call on, the agents usually tell us it’s older folks moving closer to family and/or medical access. It’s haunting, all these beautiful homes on acreage sitting empty, waiting for the next owners, with the asking price 40% higher than it sold for a few years back.

    • Lauren says:

      I stay in a newer subdivision that’s not totally built yet during the week for work. A ton of homes are vacant and are either for sale or rent. It’s a little bizarre because the sellers are now directly competing with D.R. Horton who sold them their house 1-2 years ago. Tons of other subdivisions, apartment complexes, and townhomes under construction in the area too.

      • Chris says:

        I have a relative in the northern DFW area trying to sell a nice 2 y/o home. They’re finding out that they are competing directly with 100’s of new construction homes within a couple miles radius. I tried to warn them in spring that it was time to bail out. I hope they get it sold asap.

        • Anthony A. says:

          If they lower the price enough, it will sell.

        • jon says:

          My friend is trying to sell his seattle home for last 2 years.
          He is stuck at Peak price and was complaining that he is not able to sell it.

          Greed fogs common sense.

  7. Swamp Creature says:

    The real estate market here is dead. RE agents are unable to earn a living and are dropping out of the workforce and letting their RE licenses expire. To add to this, crime is completely out of control in Washington DC. It is making the headlines nationally. This will affect property values. No one in their right mind will purchase properties in the city unless they have to in order to be close to their place of employment.

  8. GringoGreg says:

    Hey Wolf, you should do an article on the firesale of homes. Has been a rash of arsons and suspicious fires in Toronto homes. A recent build listed for $13,000,000.00 was torched last week with the arsonists caught on tape. No one was living in the home at the time and the owner couldn’t comprehend who would target him. Too funny. Anyways, Merry xmas for you and yours.

    • jon says:

      We need more and more of this to prevent people from parking their money in empty homes.
      If One is homeless person or can’t afford a home or see no future for his/her kids because of this kind of greed, then rich people need to be very careful.

      Be afraid of people who has no fear of losing anything.

      • DougP says:

        So you are advocating burning down the private property of people you have decided you don’t like, or if they have something you feel that you are entitled to?

        • Einhal says:

          I don’t know if he’s advocating it, just stating that it’s inevitable.

          When the top 1% hoard everything for themselves, and then corrupt the governments into solidifying this wealth, people will get angry.

        • El Katz says:

          “Hoarding”. Hogwash.

          I would suspect that the seller attempted to “sell” the house to his insurance company, not that some random arsonist was wandering around torching homes on the market for some utopian cause.

          Apparently some people have a reading comprehension problem when they attempt to interpret the U.S. Bill of Rights. “Life, Liberty, and Pursuit of happiness” is the bulk of what’s contained therein. I didn’t see any guarantee of a house, $500K/year job, hot girlfriend, luxury vacations, nor a Ferrari.

        • Einhal says:

          Okay Boomr. There’s a big difference between having the right to pursue happiness and having the government corrupted and putting its hand on the scales to benefit people who already have assets.

        • MM says:

          El Katz – you’re right, but we can change that.

          I propose a constitutional ammendment guaranteeing everyones’ right to a hot girlfriend and a Ferrari.

        • Jon says:

          Nothing would change unless people come out with pitchforks.

          Looking at wealth inequality I hope that day comes sooner than later.

        • Blake says:

          Wealth inequality is a huge issue that needs to be resolved. People are getting sick of it. It’s funny though, those who benefit from it are perfectly okay with it and think they got there from hard work, and those who suffer from it are furious, and think they got screwed and everyone else lucked out.

          Ask a naturally talented athlete their secret – hard work. Ask an untalented hard working athlete why they didn’t make it- not enough natural talent. The truth is it’s both….a lotta luck and a lotta effort, but nobody wants to admit that, and depends which side you’re on

        • 91B20 1stCav (AUS) says:

          Blake – a slippery slope on either side of that median peak…

          may we all find a better day.

      • Trucker Guy says:

        I honestly don’t know how it isn’t more common. The typical narrative of homeless all being lazy drug addicts isn’t strictly true. And the other side of them all being down on their luck or just mentally ill with no asylums isn’t true either.

        But there are a tremendous amount of homeless people out in Western states who work dead end part time jobs and live out of their car in the streets near their jobs.

        I couldn’t possibly imagine working 2-3 part time retail jobs making peanuts with no benefits and living in a 1980s station wagon. It baffles me how these people haven’t snapped and put the screws to whoever they think is the source of their woes right or wrong.

        I don’t have any sympathy for the drug addicts stealing speakers out of cars or the lazy crustpunks trainhopping for fun. But I understand the struggle the working homeless face. I wouldn’t personally have the patience to work those dead end jobs only to be sleeping in my passenger seat.

        • El Katz says:

          The survival instinct is strong in the human animal. The thing that separates the human animal from the others is that the human can hope for something better…

        • dang says:

          Yeah, well that is the propaganda we all continue to swallow so that we can live with ourselves, while looking at the problem with homelessness. While voting for tax cuts for the super rich with a small kibble for myah,

        • ApartmentInvestor says:

          @Trucker Guy there are not a “tremendous” amount of “homeless” with jobs since you can now make a $19/hour (almost $3,300/month working a 40 hour week) starting wage at most CA fast food restaurants (going to $20/hour in 2024). Even in the highest cost areas of CA you can rent a room for <$1,000/month. Years ago a Catholic Priest who had spent his life helping the homeless said that 99% have substance abuse and/or mental problems… but he helps everyone of them despite their problems…

      • Stanny1 says:

        I’m here in San Diego and I fear the thousands of “immigrants” that have nothing to lose.

      • kramartini says:

        The fear of financial loss will soon be enough to get people to sell empty houses. No need to actually burn the houses–burned out houses shelter no one.

    • Nick Kelly says:

      Prob not an insurance job unless the owner didn’t read the policy. Vacant hse won’t qualify without special expensive mods to policy.

    • Julian says:

      This article was about how builders in Canada are setting fire to their properties to get the insurance and then get out of the increasingly sluggish market.

    • Nick Kelly says:

      Good God! Just read up on TO arson of 14 million $ mansion.
      IF, if, if, this is an owner directed arson it has to be the most inept one in history. There is CCTV video of FOUR guys in balaclavas walking up the house side carrying RED gasoline cans! So there will be evidence of an accelerant.

      OBVIOUSLY the insurance is very unlikely to cover it without one hell of a fight. There is one faint hope, I guess, that the arson is so obvious, it can’t have been directed by the owner and must be by an enemy. A faint hope. The owner had better be clean, because for these bucks he is going to be investigated in depth.

      Successful arsonists take great pains to make the fire look accidental. This is not hard. Let’s say you put a pot of fat on high in prep to deep fry, or just buy one of those kettles that fry a turkey, which have caused so many fires the fire depts have put videos on TV showing it happening. The fact that you are an idiot will usually not stop the policy from paying. If it did, a great many
      policies would be void.

      Speaking of being an idiot, I’ve been investigated for arson. Was letting off fireworks, Halloween, 20 yrs ago. A ball from a roman candle got into some tarps stored under deck.

      They determined it was an accident. In the local paper the Chief Inspector was quoted: ‘the cause of the fire was unsupervised adults playing with fireworks.’

  9. FOMO Buyer says:

    There is a sentiment in the media and the society that when the FED starts cutting rates in the Spring, buyers will flock to open houses and restart the bidding wars and the home prices will shot up to even more unaffordable levels. May be that’s the case and they are right. I am not quite sure though. We will see.

    • Wolf Richter says:

      So all potential home buyers are going to wait until mortgage rates are back to 3% or 4% before they buy anything? That would be a hoot.

      • SOL says:

        I’m waiting for 2011 pricing with 2021 rates. Any day now. haha

      • FOMO Buyer says:

        That (buyers strike) would definitely be a fun thing to watch. I would not want the builders go bankrupt though. But I would be happy to see speculative buyers and holders to be squeezed.

    • dang says:

      You may be right that Fed will aggressively cut interest rates by the spring but it would only be for one of two reasons. Either the Fed is utterly corrupt or more likely there is a financial crisis. The hangover from sobering up from the 15 year Fed sponsored QE keggar.

  10. Louie says:

    There is always only one reason a property doesn’t sell and that reason is that it is overpriced.

    • Wolf Richter says:

      Yes, that’s true for nearly everything.

      Nearly everything will sell if the price is low enough.

      • DougP says:

        I really wish that were true of old desks and pianos……

        • MM says:

          It is still true, the price is just negative. I.e. you have to pay someone to take those items away.

        • dang says:

          Oh, old pianos are a particular human neural pain. Have I got a story for you that happened to my buddy.

          My wife and her father restored an old spinet and tuned it 25 years ago. The sound board broke and after 15 years of this instrument reminding me of a failed goal, which feeling I made known.

          One day, after advertising that old piano for sale for $25 someone bought it. I left for the gym feeling exuberant that the piano that no one ever played, was gone.

          When I got home from gym, there was mother’s baby grand piano consuming my living room, waiting for someone talented to fill the air with music.

    • Julian says:

      Do you know how many overpriced properties were sold in the last 2 years?!

      • Me says:

        None. By definition, anything that sells cannot be overpriced, and anything that doesn’t sell is overpriced.

        • Julian says:

          Often the definition has nothing to do with reality.

          I remember termite-eaten bungalows 100 km from Toronto selling in 2021-2022 after a bidding war for 1.5 million Canadian dollars.

          Try selling these bungalows today at their purchase prices.

  11. Leonardo says:

    Some anecdotal evidence from Miami: I see two types of listings:

    1. Those with exceptionally deluded list prices: 20 to 25% above the closed sales prices of late 2021 / mid 2022. These just sit there. Occasionally the list price is reduced by a minimal amount or the listing is changed to a rental and then back for a higher price. These for the most part will continue to sit there without selling. The sellers must be waiting for the next onslaught of Fed charity. Who can blame them?

    2. Those slightly deluded: These list at about the late 2021 / mid 2022 closed prices. These do not last long on the market. Some still close above list prices.

    From what I see this market has experienced no correction whatsoever. Very difficult for a buyer. You have to take it or leave and fast.

    • Einhal says:

      Maybe that’s true in Miami, but not what I’m seeing up in Palm Beach County. I’m seeing places selling for below mid-2022 prices (although not hugely below), or just sitting.

      What neighborhoods are you watching? Most of the migration in Miami proper seems to be in places like the Roads, Edgewater, Brickell, little Gables, and so forth. I don’t think many New Yorkers are setting up shop in Overtown haha.

      • Leonardo says:

        Coconut Grove, Key Biscayne, East Gables, and Pinecrest. Essentially the southeastern portion (east of US).

        Many employees of recently relocating hedge funds are moving to Miami and paying whatever for new properties. I’ve heard about bidding wars in Coconut Grove and Pinecrest because of these people.

        The cantillion effect playing out nicely.

        • Einhal says:

          Interesting. I think the idea of tons of new hedge funds moving to Miami is a little overplayed. Sure, there are some new ones in Brickell, but not enough employees to move a housing market for a metro area with 6 million people.

          I guess we’ll see.

    • shangtr0n says:

      This is essentially true in San Diego as well. Inventory has crept up from the rock-bottom levels of this past summer, but thus far sellers are sticking to one of these two approaches.

  12. bruce says:

    Massive government deficit spending will pick up the QT slack, just one giant ponzi scheme really

  13. Lucca says:

    2024 will become a buyer’s market in most places because inventory is building.

    • dang says:

      I think you may be correct, there will be deals made on the margin for the well connected. Enticing the rubes to pay top dollar for housing.

      The aggregate indices are the best measure of the public perception of the market clearing price of housing.

      It is not as if we haven’t experienced a collapse of the Fed sponsored housing bubble before in the mid 2000’s. Nay, impossible ! Housing prices won’t collapse 50+ pct again !

  14. steve says:

    I’m short DHI &BLDR.
    They were rolling over nicely.
    Then went on a tear NOV & DEC
    Completely divorced (imo) from common sense.
    Just some momo nonsense because of the FED fraudsters.
    Good time for y’all to jump on the short bandwagon.
    Gonna be quite a slide downward.

    • SOL says:

      Good luck timing the market. Been there, lost that.

    • Lauren says:

      I’m starting to think the builders are the ones who will break the housing market. I know locations vary, but D.R. Horton is absolutely swarming North Carolina right now. I wouldn’t bet against them personally, because I feel they’re focused on affordability (whatever that looks like) and will steal market share from existing home owners who won’t accept that money isn’t free anymore. They’re even willing to build new homes here in eastern NC that are less than 1,000 sf! Good luck!

    • MM says:

      My housing shorts have gotten the smackdown lately too.

      I’ve been cost avging down. I share the outlook described in Brendan’s comment below. Rates will soon bounce back and housing will continue its decline.

  15. Wolf Richter says:

    LOL, and this is the ACTUAL DATA that the NAR released. I’ll just repost it here because you clearly didn’t even look at the pictures. Do you see their and your BS? You RE trolls are such a trip:

    • JF says:

      It is going down MoM but his comment is right that it’s up YoY. Why did you slam him?

      • Wolf Richter says:

        The peak was Jun 2022. The chart shows the context. He posted the NAR promo material as if prices actually rose…. which is what you saw in the headlines that prices “rose” when they actually “fell.” Prices FELL. They were up from two years ago and were up from 10 years ago, and from a year ago, but they FELL for the fifth month in a row, and they FELL further from the peak which was 18 months ago. I’m so sick of this BS in the headlines.

        His quote was: “The median existing-home sales price rose 4.0% from November 2022 to $387,600…” but they didn’t rise, they FELL for the fifth month in a row to $387,600. And they were up from 10 years ago, and from four years ago, and from a year ago.

        Similar with sales, I saw in the headlines, “Home Sales Rebound,” LOL, RE promo BS. Look at the sales chart. Seasonally adjusted they inched up from the most collapsed level imaginable, by a minuscule amount that’s barely visible in the chart. And not seasonally adjusted, sales fell further.

      • Blake says:

        Haha I thought the same thing. He hits hard sometimes. For all we know the poster might have just been pointing out that the NAR articles don’t really give the whole story and spin the data, which they do, which is why I love the graphs that get posted here. Year over year, month over month, seasonally adjusted, etc etc. This crap gets over complicated and easily contorted. But even I can look at the pretty red line and see if it’s going up or down, which makes this site great. No BS and charts that tell the story!

      • Alku says:

        Wolf, with all due respect… Your dislike for SocalJim is so strong it cripples your judgements.

        Like JF pointed out, the comment was about YoY but you are referring to 5 MONTH of declines. Did you RTGDC?

        The NAR statement the SocalJim cited is true. I was able to confirm that with a help of your own graph :)

        I copied the picture in the MS Paint, located a black dot for November 2022 and – just by counting pixels – found the 11/22 price to be 373K with an error of about 3%.

        Which yields the YoY rise of 3.9%.

        • Wolf Richter says:


          prices did NOT “rise to $387,600” – they “FELL to $387,600” but they were still up from 10 years ago and from a year ago — this is what my comment said.

    • Herpderp says:

      Your graph and their comments align though? June was down yoy. July, August, September, October, November were up YoY. 2023’s “winter-not-selling season” has shown significantly slower price drops compared to 2022’s. Mind you 2022 had historically steep price drops, but also this years smaller price drops happened in the face of higher mortgage rates. I wonder what Decembers numbers will show with the latest, lower mortgage rates.

      • dang says:

        Personally, when I look at the graphs of price I think that the 6.3 pct decrease in price from the peak seems to be stretching for proof that prices are decreasing while the prices asked seem to be misaligned with ability of their potential customers to afford their product.

        The marginal price, the last sale, sets the market price in all of the overpriced asset markets.

  16. Glen says:

    There is obviously people that have to or choose to sell but I am sure there are those in the “this too shall pass” or at least waiting to see what a year or two will bring. Last Spring I was getting ready to sell and move to Portland from California. Timing was bad so I will just wait a year or two as no significant driver. No way I was going to move into a city with a buy so was going to rent and was unclear how things would unfold in the two markets.

  17. Brendan says:

    I think the Titanic has turned. IMO, this cycle in rates has only just begun. They will stay high or go higher for years or until there’s a major crash in asset prices. Short term dips like the one we’re in right now are head fakes, as Wolf has told us. I will be parked in short-term Treasuries waiting for that crash.

    • Einhal says:

      Agreed. Ultimately, the Fed only has direct control over short term rates. If long-term rates are dropping, it’s because the markets either think the Fed has inflation slain or that they’ll start QE again.

      If the Fed does in fact start QE again, all bets are off.

      • SOL says:

        It seems the Fed “Put” is their highest priority. I see it like a corporation and the assetholders are the shareholders.

  18. Rick Vincent says:

    Interesting article, Wolf! I’m still waiting for when reality will catch up to the Manchester, NH market. Zillow price index now up 9% YOY in Manchester and in West Roxbury (a residential neighborhood in Boston) prices up 5.4% YOY. Incredible given the 13% sales decline shown in the article.

    • Herpderp says:

      NH wont see a crash, and likely not even a correction. Supply is too low.

      • Rick Vincent says:

        It does seem odd though that Metro Boston is weirdly insulated so far from any kind of stop from the significant increases in real estate prices. 9% increase YOY in Manchester is crazy. I bought a 2-family there for $180k in 2016. Same house sold for $405k recently.

  19. Pants_Explosion says:

    Can we really expect a clearance sale for houses in the top 20 US markets?

    Like many here, I was rooting for a big scary housing crash for my chance at a $50k house.

    But employment trucks along, liquidity refuses to dry up, and sellers have miles and miles of runway to sit comfy and wait for a fool and his money. And if a fool doesn’t come, they’ll just re-list after the holidays for $100k more!

    Homeowners aren’t desperate enough.

    The mere mention of rate cuts has injected fresh greed and exuberance into the veins of realtors and homeowners. The crash dream is dead.

    • Jon says:

      Unless and until we get a deep and prolong recession we won’t see any meaningful downturn in home prices .

      People need to be desperate to sell.

  20. tom10 says:

    The numbers out this week match the calls out in here in flyover with our business. Existing homes, calls down…inventory up. New construction…its Dec. and the the calls keep coming.

    • Wolf Richter says:


      You said you’re in construction in flyover. So I have a question. Panasonic just canceled plans to build a battery factory in Oklahoma. It didn’t give any reasons, but said that there were lots of reasons. Insiders reported that the construction-related costs of its new plant in Kansas had spiraled much higher than expected, and that these spiraling costs were the reason it canceled the OK plant.

      So my question is: do you see spiraling construction costs also, or is this just some unique thing that impacted Panasonic’s chip and battery plants (such as bad planning or whatever)? Homebuilders have reported lower construction material costs and much shorter lead times, but higher labor costs. That’s why I’m so surprised by this story about construction costs at Panasonic.

      • tom10 says:

        I do not see spiraling construction costs.
        Material costs are lower, and wait times for them are down.
        That’s not saying prices are anywhere near pre lockdown.

        #1 problem: labor. Slowly we are starting to see youngsters
        come into the trades. Need a lot more.

        In my area:
        Can they staff the factory?
        Can their suppliers stay staffed.

        We have had commercial development look elsewhere
        because of labor.

  21. S says:

    Just a note that your first chart of new listings is incorrect. The new listings for November were 316,990, not above 350k

    • Wolf Richter says:

      Yes, thanks, that was a weird problem in my spreadsheet formula in just that one cell. I moved the column over by nine columns, but the formula in this one cell wasn’t anchored and so it moved the source address by 9 columns too, to “pending listing” for November and picked up that value. I have no idea how that happened. That value pending listings (354K) was close enough to not trigger my alarms and so I didn’t notice it.

  22. SoCalBeachDude says:

    SFGate: LA restaurants closing at furious rate: ‘Mass exodus’…

    • Wolf Richter says:

      Restaurants are always closing at a furious pace. 30% of restaurants don’t survive their first year in normal times. Worst least-likely-to-succeed business model ever. Starting up and running a successful restaurant is incredibly hard. I admire the people who are able to pull it off.

      After the pandemic, we had a tsunami of new restaurants. A gazillion of them opened up, after a lot of the older ones shut down during the pandemic. New restaurants everywhere I look. I have no idea how they’re all going to make it, and they won’t. There will be a massive shakeout.

      Tuesday last week, we went to one of our favorite places, and it took us an hour to get in, on a Tuesday!!! That’s a successful restaurant!

  23. ApartmentInvestor says:

    I got a real estate license as an undergrad and after graduating from college got my Broker’s license and still have it 40 years later. I have bought and sold dozens of properties but only representing myself as the buyer or seller and never earned a penny in real estate commission acting as an agent to sell real estate for anyone else.

    If possible I like to negotiate directly with the seller and not use an agent, but that rarely happens with real estate, I’ve only done it twice (and happens less and less with cars as more people “trade them in” vs, running an ad to sell them with a classified ad Sunday paper like more people did in the 80’s).

    Every time I buy real estate listed for sale I’ll work directly with the “listing agent” since he or she will “double end” the deal and get double the fee if I buy the property (if their Mom or own kid comes in with their own “buyers agent” most will work to kill the deal since they will get paid half as much than if they can get the seller to sell to me).

    Top 1% real estate agents (that make over $1mm/year, so I’m not talking about Aunt Sally that has sold three houses in 5 years) like good politicians are usually full on Narcissistic Sociopaths as well as master manipulators so I use them with I sell properly, not only because they have the skills I don’t have to manipulate people to over pay but because they are in a “club” of the 10-20% of agents in most areas that sell 80-90% of the deals (who have the most buyers) and will usually add more in value than you pay them. I also give a bigger percentage of the fee to the buyers agent so every single buyers agent wants their buyer to buy my properly so they get paid more.

    The other reason I use real estate agents when selling is a liability buffer between me and the buyer (who I try to never talk to). Top agents (who lie as much or more than politicians) all have E&O insurance that will often pay if someone gets upset unpermitted work or other problems were not disclosed properly prior to closing).

  24. Spoiled by QE And Grateful says:

    Americans are so entitled and never satisfied, thank God for the Fed and subsidized interest rates. QE has given more to those who would never own a home, than QT has taken away. The tide of good fortune goes out and the tide of misfortune comes in for all. The big breast will continue supplying milk to suckle the HoopleHeads in for unlimited credit of imaginary chips at the poker table. Now is the time to go out and buy a big screen TV, appliances, or the never ending supply electronic gadgets advertised daily they are now On Sale $. I doubt for even 1 minute that those who are gainfully employed with good jobs are having any problems relocating to a different region of the country for work. Just watched the local news in Denver, 200 migrants arriving daily are now complaining they don’t have adequate housing or shelter, having too pitch tents and sleep under bridges with their families, having no jobs or income, and the climate is colder than they are accustomed too. Supply and Demand, the bitching and complaining, I think I’ll start the Xmas egg nod early this year.

  25. Micheal Engel says:

    In the last few years, in Dec, new listings dropped well below the peak and below Jan of that year. Nov 2023 (red) is between Feb and Mar. It’s almost flat. May 2023 peak is the lowest.
    In 2023 the RE market is “stronger” than in 2017, 2018 and 2019 with the
    highest peaks. Perhaps weaker, without a pulse, more fragile…

  26. eg says:

    From my perspective, this is a good thing. Yes, I am a homeowner, so it theoretically means a reduction in my portfolio of assets, but that is a trade off I will gladly make in exchange for the social benefits that ought to come with any improvement in affordability for housing.

  27. jon says:

    Realtors started emailing me these:

    Rates DROP Finally! Mortgage rates are in the mid 6% with experts predicting a further drop through 2024. Here’s what I think will happen::

    Home buyers will be back shopping and inventory stays low, we could see bidding wars again.
    Home Sellers will start to sell, this could help keep prices under control as more homes hit the market.

    • Wolf Richter says:

      Or homebuyers will wait with shopping until rates drop “further” and below 6%, into the 5% range. Mortgage applications dropped in the latest week, reported yesterday, and have remained near historic lows, despite lower mortgage rates all November and December so far.

  28. Robin says:

    If that’s not a double top, I don’t know what is!

  29. jon says:

    Anecdotal evident:
    One of the hottest market in CA is Palm Springs where every other home seems to be a STR.
    Locals have been totally prized out.

    This home ABNB was sold for 1.4 million, now listed at 630K after multiple price reductions.

    • Z33 says:

      Hard to tell as it sold in March 2022 for $750k and then in March 2023 for $1.4m. Is the “brand new pool” something that was done prior to the 2022 sale or prior to the higher 2023 sale? Same for the interior. Here in Windermere, FL (also a hot market), I see homes listed as “new construction” but they were built as far back as 2020 and clearly lived in based on home offices and whatnot. Others list renovations done, but don’t specify if done under current (less than 1 year) or last owner (some I know for sure were done under prior ownership based on old photos).

      If sold in 2022 for $750k and had that interior and pool already, that $630k price isn’t crazy imo. If it was a dump property in 2022 at $750k and had all that work done including pool then I can see why $630k is a far better deal.

    • bulfinch says:

      Hot is an understatement…Palm Springs gets hotter than a blast furnace and it’s lousy with crawlies & pit vipers.

      Bob Hope like it there.

  30. Bill says:

    This article certainly does not apply to Manchester NH. Prices are up roughly 15% YOY. Combine that with the number of homes for sale has dropped drastically.

  31. Desert dweller says:

    I have a CA broker’s license and specialize in CRE lending. The last year has been brutal. With that said, I expect 2024 to be worse as NODs and foreclosures are starting to increase dramatically throughout SoCal. At some point, some regionals will start taking some serious gas.

  32. yield_curve_believer says:

    I’m convinced “Median days on the market” is merely a measure of average seller delusion, and doesn’t really add much value as a metric.

Comments are closed.