United States

State of the housing market: September 2023

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Hand holding magnifying glass at rows of houses

Between slow rent growth, declining list prices, and a drop in supply figures, the current housing market offers challenges as well as opportunities for buyers, renters, and property managers.

  • According to Realtor.com, the national median list price fell slightly for the second month in a row from $440,000 in July to $435,000 in August.
  • The site also reports a 3.5% increase in newly listed homes – from 374,028 in July to 387,076 in August. Although the uptick may not be substantial, a larger selection of homes and the resultant lower asking prices are welcome developments for prospective buyers.
  • Meanwhile the national median rent for one-bedrooms is up less than half a percentage point over last month at $1,510, continuing the year-long deceleration in price growth recorded by Zumper. Two-bedroom median rent is up just $2 at $1,864.
  • Nearly half (48) of Zumper’s top 100 cities saw a drop in rental prices from the previous month, while 15 reported no change.
  • For renters, this slowdown may be a chance to catch their breath, budget wisely, and lock in a new lease before rents skyrocket again.
  • Property managers may need to adapt their business to remain competitive and profitable in changing market conditions. Lowering operating costs can help maintain profit margins even with slow rent growth – this might include tactics as diverse as implementing energy-efficient upgrades in the office or exploring time-saving admin automation.
  • Meanwhile, construction unexpectedly plummeted in August. Single‐family housing starts happened at a rate of 941,000 – 4.3% below the revised July figure of 983,000.
  • At the moment, the gradually increasing housing stock stems more from people listing their homes than from new construction. But a 2% month-over-month rise in single-family permits could mean some builders are more optimistic about the future.

More rental market headlines

Chart: Renters are getting squeezed – Axios

Landlords are charging near-record rents – but offering concessions – Redfin

White House, HUD, Zillow combat rental housing junk fees – PayProp

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