And some drop off their search for reasons ranging from an inability to compete financially, an unwillingness to pass up on eventualities like an inspection, to believing that the market will cool down over time. Home sales have plummeted for four months in a row, despite prices hitting record highs.
Mark Boyland, a real estate agent at Keller Williams in Bedford, N.Y., notices "some buyer fatigue out there," he said. "If you've lost four or five multiple offer situations, say, 'Maybe we should wait for things to cool down.'"
A real estate market like this one may be a blessing for sellers, but it is emotionally stressful for prospective buyers. "Every time you get an offer on a house, you've practically fallen in love," said Mr. Boyland. “And now your heart is breaking. Over and over again."
Thomas Brown is co-founder of Agency Texas, a brokerage firm serving San Antonio, Houston and the Austin metropolitan area, where property prices rose 43.9 percent year-over-year in April, the biggest jump among the 85 largest metros in the country. according to a report by Redfin. Unsurprisingly, "a lot of people are pausing their search right now," said Mr. Brown. “The market is starting to stabilize. Don't normalize. Stabilize."
According to Mr. Brown, this stabilization is happening because “there will simply be fewer buyers”. Austin's rental market is heating up for the same reason. “People say, 'I can't buy the house. I will rent for a year. ’"
Greg and Daphne Decoteau rent in Boise, Idaho, but not voluntarily. In 2019, empty nests in their 60s, the couple moved from Napa Valley, California to Boise for their retirement, attracted by the lower cost of living and an active lifestyle. Acting prudently, they visited the area all four seasons before moving and renting before making a decision to buy a home.
Then the pandemic struck and diverted their attention from looking for an apartment. When the Decoteaus went looking again last December, the already hot local market had skyrocketed. They waited and watched, "expecting some sanity to creep in," as Mr. Decoteau put it.