The housing crunch might finally be showing signs of easing

For months now, homebuyers have been in a Hunger Games–like battle to find a new house, as a paucity of listings has resulted in almost instantaneous offers for sellers. But the tide might finally be starting to turn.

A report from Redfin finds that the number of homes newly listed for sale has surpassed 2019 levels for the first time since the start of the year. Many of those sellers, though, might be in for a rude awakening if they’re hoping to benefit from the instant sales of earlier this year as buyer demand continues to slip.

Pending sales posted their smallest year-over-year increase in almost a year, according to Redfin. And requests for home tours were lower.

Mortgage rates are still low, but buyer frustration has set in. Only 32% of consumers believe it’s a good time to buy a home, according to Fannie Mae’s Home Purchase Sentiment Index for June. A growing number of properties for sale, though, could spur people off the fence.

“Many buyers have backed away from the housing market and are waiting until more and better homes are listed,” said Redfin chief economist Daryl Fairweather. “Buyers don’t have the same sense of urgency that they did at the beginning of the year. They aren’t racing to buy before prices increase, because asking prices have already increased and stabilized. With more new listings starting to come on the market, buyers who threw in the towel may want to look again because the market is tilting more in their favor.”

New listings for homes were up 4% for the week of July 4 compared to the same period last year. There’s still a gap to cover, though, as active listings are still down 32% from 2020. And even though there are more listings, you still won’t be able to linger too long on making a decision. Most houses are on the market an average of just 15 days right now, compared with 39 a year ago.

Still, it’s hardly a buyer’s market. The median home sale price is up 22% over a year ago—and asking prices for newly listed homes are up 12% from this time in 2020.

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