7 Critical Graphs: Zillow Decodes US Housing Market Complexities

7 Critical Graphs: Zillow Decodes US Housing Market ComplexitiesIs the American Dream of homeownership slipping through our fingers? With home prices and rents soaring at unprecedented rates, the U.S. faces a housing crisis that threatens not only individual dreams but also the fabric of our communities.

Zillow has just dropped a bombshell: seven critical graphs that decode the complexities of today's U.S. housing market and predict its future trajectory. If you've ever wondered why home prices are skyrocketing or why your dream home feels increasingly out of reach, this comprehensive analysis is your roadmap. Don't miss this essential read—it unpacks the data that could determine your next housing decision.

Read on to discover the surprising factors contributing to this nationwide dilemma, why merely hoping for lower prices won't solve it, and the urgent call to action that could safeguard our collective future.

How Many Homes Are Selling?

Our first graph paints a clear image of the declining demand in the US housing market.

Zillow's count of unique home sales for September 2023

The blue bars in this graph indicate the monthly home sales and the yellow bars show the year-over-year change for each month. For instance, 275K homes were sold in August, marking a nearly 24% decrease from the 360K homes sold in August of last year.

U.S. home sales have dropped for 24 consecutive months. This decrease began when mortgage interest rates doubled, strongly linking the decline in buyer interest to reduced home affordability. Furthermore, many potential buyers currently hold mortgages with rates below 3%. The prospect of facing rates above 7% makes it nearly impossible for them to consider moving.

How Many Homes Are For Sale?

Understanding the demand has declined, let's shift our focus to the supply side of the US housing market.

Zillow's count of the supply of homes for sale for September 2023

The blue bars in this graph represent the number of unique active home listings for each month, while the red line indicates the year-over-year change in available homes for sale. There are 950,000 homes on the market, which is a 13% decline from the 1.092 million homes available last year. It's important to note, though not shown in this graph, that today's listings are 76% lower than the numbers during the housing bubble years.

Back in 2008, there were far too many homes for sale when the government chopped away at available loan programs. The oversupply caused prices to fall. The opposite condition exists today. A healthy housing market should maintain an inventory of 2 to 3 million available homes, so today, we are terribly undersupplied. This shortage has skyrocketed home values and rental rates, creating an unsustainable and unhealthy housing market.

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Zillow Forecast For 894 Local Markets

Even with diminished demand, the lack of available homes has created pricing pressures in most local US housing markets.

Zillow's forecast for 894 local housing markets for September 2023

Zillow is forecasting an average appreciation rate in the US of 4.9% for the next twelve months and sees 92.2% of all local US housing markets post gains in home prices.

Sure, some markets are defying the overall US trend, but if you are reading this, you are likely in a market where home prices will continue to grow. The lack of inventory will keep declining demand in check, so don't expect home affordability to improve any time soon.

Median Home Sales Price Continues Higher

Many people hoped for a decline in home prices, but as we predicted, that outcome was unlikely given the underbuilt state of the U.S. housing market.

Zillow's calculated median home sales price September 2023

The blue bars in this graph display the median sale prices for homes across various U.S. metropolitan areas, while the red line tracks the year-over-year change in these median prices. A dashed line marks the zero-percent point for year-over-year change in median home prices.

Although we saw a period of decline in year-over-year home prices last year, that phase has ended. Last month, the year-over-year median price increased by nearly 5%, which Zillow anticipates will continue for the next twelve months. So, what do those who previously warned of falling home prices have to say now?

The findings in this graph align with supply and demand analyses. As demand decreased, the supply of available homes also shrunk. Many potential sellers, who are also prospective buyers, chose not to move, thus reducing future inventory.

Homebuilders have not been producing enough residences to meet the needs of our growing population. Until we return to traditional building rates, we can expect the home affordability crisis to worsen.

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What Are Home Sellers Receiving?

According to Zillow, home sellers are receiving their full asking prices.

Zillow's report on what home sellers are receiving at the closing table September 2023

This graph displays the mean sale-to-list ratio, which is the sales price divided by the final list price.

Historically, we expect this ratio to fall between 97% and 98% for the overall market. However, due to limited inventory, sellers are commanding the market across most price ranges and areas.

Just over a year ago, this ratio soared to more than 102%, a level I've never seen in my 32 years in the industry. Our housing market is currently imbalanced, with home prices escalating too rapidly. To stabilize the situation, we urgently need to increase home construction before conditions deteriorate further.

Are Home Value Changes Equal Across All Price Points?

Zillow divides the housing market into three equal tiers, ranging from high to low, to assess variations across different price points. This segmentation allows for a more nuanced understanding of market dynamics.

Zillow's three tiers calculating home values for September 2023

In this graph, Zillow presents the year-over-year percentage change in the home value index for each of the three price tiers: the top tier in blue, the middle tier in red, and the bottom tier in gray.

At first glance, it seems that all three tiers follow a similar trend, although the top tier exhibits slightly more volatility than the others. However, a concerning pattern emerges after examining the entire data set, which spans from 2001 to the present. Here are the annual growth rates for each tier:

  • Top Tier: 4.68%
  • Middle Tier: 4.80%
  • Bottom Tier: 5.07%

The rates of home price appreciation are not uniform across these tiers. Notably, the fastest growth is happening in the least affordable tier, exacerbating housing affordability issues.

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What Rental Rates Tell Us About Home Affordability Change

The last graph in this report showcases trends in U.S. rental rates, serving as a valuable indicator to either refute or confirm the existence of a supply shortage in the overall housing market.

Zillow's measurement of rental rates US and Tallahassee September 2023

The graph displays two sets of data for rental rates: one for the typical U.S. market and another for the local market in Tallahassee.

The solid blue line represents the observed average rent in the U.S., while the blue-dashed line portrays Tallahassee's rental market. Similarly, the solid red line indicates the year-over-year change in U.S. rental rates, and the dashed red line shows the same metric for Tallahassee. This comparison provides valuable insights into local and national rental rate trends.

Both the U.S. and Tallahassee rental rates continue to rise, although at slower rates compared to the last two years. Nevertheless, these increases are still above historical norms. When both home prices and rental rates escalate at rates higher than historical averages, it clearly indicates that a housing shortage is at the core of the issue.

We Must Prioritize Balance In The Housing Market

The current state of the U.S. housing market demands immediate and decisive action. While the challenges to restoring equilibrium are multifaceted and often divisive, inaction is not an option. If we fail to act, we risk escalating the housing affordability crisis to a point where the majority of Americans will find themselves renting from large investment funds, rather than building equity through home ownership.

The government's interference in the mortgage market in 2006 initiated a shock wave, disrupting "normal operations" in housing for a decade and leading many homebuilders to halt production at traditional rates. Consequently, we find ourselves in a housing paradox: America desperately needs more homes, but escalating costs in today's inflationary market render building at scale virtually unfeasible.

Ignoring the supply-demand dynamics will only worsen the situation. Unless you anticipate a drastic decrease in U.S. population, maintaining the status quo is not an option. Given that we foresee slow to moderate population growth, we must parallelly strive for a comparable increase in housing inventory.

The time for half-measures is over. Continuing to produce homes at merely one-third of historical rates is untenable. We must rally our resources, unify our efforts, and prioritize housing construction to redress this imbalance. The cost of inaction is too great; it's time to build our way out of this crisis.

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There is one singular issue that stands above all others when selling a home in a strong sellers' market. In this video, I walk you through the question and best answer to the most important question you should ask when selling a home.
Get More Money For Your Home
In order to understand how to get more money from a house sale, one must learn about the neighborhood stalker.
Real Estate Negotiation Strategies For Each Market Condition
If you mishandle the negotiation on a home, several things will possibly happen, and all of them are bad. First and foremost, you’ll leave money on the table through either the sales price or the terms that are negotiated. Today, buyers are losing out on homes they want to buy and it’s often due to poor positioning in the negotiation. And while we are in the midst of a historic sellers’ market, I’m seeing sellers leave money on the table even when they have multiple offers! #realestatenegotiation #homenegot
Home Selling Tip: Don't Price Your Home On The 9s!
One of the most important steps in your marketing strategy when selling a home is setting the initial asking price for the home. While I have discussed this in previous videos, today I’m going to discuss a technique that I refer to as pricing on the 9s. It works to reduce the buyer pool for the home seller and reduce’s the seller’s chances of getting top dollar for the home. It is a terrible tactic and works against the seller. If you watch this short video, you’ll understand exactly why it hurts home selle
How Much Margin For Negotiation Should I Include In My Asking Price?
I was recently asked "How much margin for negotiation should I include in my asking price?" This is a common question from experienced home sellers. They have sold homes in the past and understand the negotiation process involves a game of give and take, so doesn’t it make good sense to start with a little wiggle room in your price so that you can give it to the buyer to secure a sale? Here's what you should know. I explain EXACTLY how much margin for negotiation you should add to the price of your home t
10 Home Inspection Issues And Tips
Moving from one home to another has enough stress and chaos built into the entire affair, and the home inspection is often the biggest stressor. Here's how to avoid home inspection stress!
Home Staging Advice For Sellers
Do you wonder how to net more money selling your home? This is one of my top home selling tips. Today's video is everything you need to know about staging your home in order to NET the most money from your sale. ?? Here's a link to our FREE Home Sellers Checklist mentioned in the video: https://www.tallahasseechecklist.com/home-seller-checklist-downloadzh61xghm
What Does A Transaction Coordinator Do?
When you are selling a home or buying a home, a critical member of your support team is your transaction coordinator. Here's what to expect!
Real Estate Appraisal Versus Fair Market Value Of A Home?
What is the difference between a real estate appraisal and the fair market value of a home? If there is one practice that confounds both home buyers and home sellers alike it's the fact that the majority of real estate transactions close at the mercy of an appraisal conducted for a purpose that most consumers do not consider. Understanding these differences will save you money when it comes to buying or selling a home, and it will help you appreciate the need and value of a real estate appraisal. But here’s
First Right Of Refusal Meaning Explained
What is a right of first refusal? What does first right of refusal mean when dealing with a real estate contract? Accepting real estate contingencies without understanding them often causes home sellers problems. I have shared a real-world example of how we handled a first right of refusal real estate contract negotiation, and the decision-making process used to put the home seller in the best situation possible. Pay close attention to this short video and you’ll have a better understanding of the right to
Why It's Alway About Supply And Demand In Real Estate
It's all about supply and demand. The real estate supply and demand dynamic tells us everything we need to know to forecast home sales in any given area.
The Truth About A Dubious Real Estate Statistic
They're Lying! When it comes to buying or selling a home, it's important to recognize false or misleading real estate stats (real estate statistics) that can lead to costly mistakes.
How To Sell A Home That Needs Repairs
How To Sell A Home That Needs Repairs - If you want to know how to sell a fixer upper house fast, then there are some fundamentals of selling a fixer-upper that you should understand. Ideally, in real estate sales, when selling a home, you should bring a house to market-condition before you sell your house fast in order to attain top dollar during the sale. But ideal situations are not always possible. If you follow the tips and advice in this video, you will know how to sell a fixer-upper house fast and in
What Is Pre Marketing In Real Estate When Selling A Home?
What is pre-marketing in real estate when selling a home? When your home hits the market and it "goes live," how many buyers will be standing in line to get in? Will it look like an Apple store on the day the new iPhone is released? If not, why not? ... it's all in the video ??????
What Is A Seller's Market In Real Estate?
You might have heard that we have a huge seller’s market right now in real estate. Do you know what that means? This real estate frequently asked question comes up from time to time when somebody is buying a home or selling a home. They want to know if its a buyer’s market or a seller’s market. Is now a good time to buy a home in the Tallahassee real estate market? I have prepared this short video to demonstrate the conditions that make this a seller’s market, and then we’ll show you the numbers and how we
How Digital Has Changed How We Sell A Home Today
Time to sell a home? The digital age has had a huge impact on what homeowners must do to get top dollar when selling their home. In this video, Joe Manausa explains why and how things have changed, and then lays out the plan for what home sellers must do.
5 Ways To Handle The House In A Divorce
If there is one thing that I see divorcing couples doing wrong more often than not, it is the decision on how to handle the house where the couple has lived. While I am not a lawyer and I'm not dispensing legal advice, take it from somebody who has helped hundreds of divorcing couples, there is a right way (and FOUR wrong ways) to handle the house in a divorce. Tell your attorney that you want to do it right!
Four Smart Ways To Use A Real Estate Contract Assignment
Contract assignability allows buyers to give or sell their rights to another buyer, and that creates opportunity. Tune in to discover four reasons to assign a real estate contract (including contract assignment profits)
Ugly Real Estate Listing Pictures | Real Estate Photography Tips
I’ve got some funny, ugly real estate listing pictures to share with you today, along with some simple real estate photography tips. Take a humorous look at some of the WORST pictures I have seen used when marketing a home ... not the way to sell your house!
How Long Does It Take To Sell A Home In 2021?
How long does it take a home to sell in 2021? I've been asked this question a lot recently, and it made me realize a full explanation was in order. Why? Because if you understood how to sell a home for top dollar, you would know that it is a trick question. Trust me on this. Invest the few minutes it takes to watch the video and you'll have a better understanding of selling a home than do most people in the real estate industry (and I'll prove it!).
What Is A Swimming Pool Worth?
What Is A Swimming Pool Worth? Recently, a customer buying a home asked me a simple question. She inquired “how much does a pool add to the value of a home?” Pretty simple question, right? Well, by the end of this short video, you’ll know the not-so-simple answer (and why this is so important).
Real Estate Is Local - What This Means!
If you plan on buying a home, or selling a home, you’ll want to understand the local nature of real estate and use it to your advantage.
How HGTV Is Like Meth For Homebuyers
This is what I have observed regarding the HGTV impact on buying a home and selling a home.

There are a lot of people who endorse Joe for the job of selling your home, including Preston Scott (host of Tallahassee's top daily "Audio Magazine," as well as the thousands of happy customers Joe has helped in the past. Listen why!

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