Redfin, a real estate brokerage, added Nela Richardson to its ranks as the company’s first chief economist. She comes to Redfin from Bloomberg LP, where she served as a senior economist with Bloomberg Government and served in past roles in the mortgage industry, capital markets and financial policy.
“Redfin had to find a truth-telling economist with the guts and brains to make tough calls,” said Redfin Chief Executive Officer Glenn Kelman. “Nela fit the bill perfectly. She can analyze real-time data on the touring and offer activity of thousands of Redfin customers across the nation, combining that with deeper insights about changes to the home-buyer psyche or middle-class wage stagnation. The result is someone who can speak with equal authority on the direction the market took last weekend, and how the way Americans live is changing over months and years in response to these economic forces.”
In her new role at Redfin, Richardson will continue to lead and contribute to national housing market and policy conversations with special attention to the consumer experience. He will be based in Washington, D.C. and will lead the Redfin team of economists and data scientists responsible for providing industry reports.
“Redfin has an arsenal of data on the housing market that can’t be found anywhere else, including real-time demand numbers, agent insights and customer surveys,” Richardson said. “I am thrilled to be its first chief economist and help people across the nation make informed housing decisions.”
As a real estate brokerage and technology company, Redfin is able to pull and analyze the latest data from the multiple listing service (MLS), its home-buying and selling customer sand its agents in real time. By closely tracking not only market-wide indicators like home prices, sales and inventory, but also trends in the rate at which people are touring, offering on and listing homes. Redfin is uniquely positioned to identify and predict changes in the housing market as they happen, months before other industry data providers and analysts can.
Richardson and her team released the latest Redfin Demand Pulse Report, which includes data on U.S. homebuyer demand in April. Median home prices rose in all markets year over year, with an overall annual gain of 9.4 percent. Higher prices and low inventory have led to more moderate housing demand growth in many markets compared with this time last year.
“Inventory remains a problem,” Richardson said. “Prospective buyers are still struggling to find new listings that would make going on a tour worthwhile. Refin’s early indicator of future demand shows that sales are likely to weaken as we approach the summer months unless there is a sizable increase in inventory.”