Home Seller Concessions Reach Pre-pandemic Levels
A new Redfin report found a record 41.9% of home sellers gave concessions to homebuyers in Q4 of 2022, through money for repairs and mortgage-rate buydowns. This represents the highest increase of any three-month period since July 2020 when Redfin started tracking this data. In Q3 of 2022 and Q4 of 2021, sellers gave concessions in 30% of home sales.
The report also found that homeowners are selling homes for below the asking price. In Q4 of 2022, 22% of Redfin’s home sales included a concession and lower listing price, while 19% included both a concession and a listing-price cut while the home was on the market.
When the 30-year mortgage rate was around 3%, there was a higher demand for homes and such deals were not as popular. During the pandemic, record-low mortgage rates invited more demand and led buyers to outbid the asking price and waive concessions to “have their offers taken seriously,” according to the Redfin report.
Today, mortgage companies are promoting more buydowns. In September 2022, Rocket Mortgage and its wholesale arm Rocket Pro TPO, started offering a one-year buydown, dubbed the “Inflation Buster.” It aimed to reduce a homebuyers’ monthly mortgage payments by a percentage point for the first year of their loan.
United Wholesale Mortgage also expanded temporary buydown options for jumbo loans in December to attract more business. The options include reducing mortgage rates by 2% during the first year of the loan and by 1% in the second year, or by 1% during the first year.
“Buyers are asking sellers for things that were unheard of during the past few years,” said Van Welborn, a Phoenix-based Redfin real estate agent, in a prepared statement. “They’re feeling empowered, partly because their offer is often the only one, and partly because they know sellers have built up so much equity during the pandemic that they can afford to dole out sizable concessions.”