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New real estate listings up 3% — and as the supply crunch eases, home prices could level out

For the first time since January, new home listings have topped where they were a year ago.

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If you're in the market for a home, you may know that sales have been on a tear for the last year, driven by an increase in demand and very low supply. It's been a consistent narrative since last summer: Month after month, new buyers have continued entering the market, while the number of homes for sale hasn't kept up. 

Prices spiked as a result. Redfin reports the median home sales price increased 22% over last year, to $364,430 — a record in the history of its data.

The shortage may finally be ending. New listings of homes jumped 4% in the four-week period ending July 4, compared with the same period a year before. They were up 3% from the same period in 2019, marking the first time Redfin's new supply data topped pre-pandemic levels.

The data signals the beginnings of a potential loosening in the very tight market. Still, you may not want to start celebrating just yet. While active listings are up 8% from their lowest point in March 2021, the number of active listings is still almost two-thirds what it was a year ago, according to Redfin.

VIDEO6:2806:28
3 tips for buying your first home in a crowded market

Video by Richard Washington

The competitive market means that buyers need to be prepared to put their best offers forward when bidding on houses, says Jeff Knipe, a real estate agent and founder of Knipe Realty in Portland, Oregon. One surefire way to make that happen? Have your lender vet your finances and preapprove you for a loan, he says.

"Actually pre-qualifying and having a lender go through all those things is really important," Knipe says.

He also encourages potential homebuyers to have their lender call the listing agent. "As a listing agent, I always like the lender to call me and tell me about the client when they're making an offer," Knipe says. "The lender can really help make your offer that much better."

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