Former Bloomberg Economist to Lead Redfin Housing Market Research Team, Reveals Latest Housing Market Data
SEATTLE — Redfin, the customer-first real estate brokerage, announced that Nela Richardson, Ph.D., has joined its ranks as the company’s first chief economist. Richardson 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. Richardson’s expertise pairs perfectly with the wide array of data Redfin provides its customers to help them make informed choices about one of the most important transactions of their lives.
“Redfin had to find a truth-telling economist with the guts and brains to make tough calls,” said Redfin CEO 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. Richardson will be based in Washington, D.C., and will lead the Redfin team of economists and data scientists responsible for providing compelling industry reports that only Redfin can deliver at www.redfin.com/research.
“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 customers and 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.
Today Richardson and her team are also unveiling the latest Redfin Demand Pulse Report. This report represents the latest Redfin data on U.S. homebuyer demand in April, with Redfin customers’ home tours down 2.1 percent from March, compared with a 1.9 percent decrease during the same period last year, and Redfin customers’ offers up 1.5 percent in April, compared with a 5 percent jump last year. 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. Redfin’s early indicator of future demand shows that sales are likely to weaken as we approach the summer months unless there is a sizeable increase in inventory.”
At Bloomberg Government, Richardson was a senior economist specializing in financial policy. Before joining Bloomberg, she worked as a research economist at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and was a member of its Dodd-Frank financial reform rulemaking team. Prior to her work at the CFTC, Richardson was a researcher at Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies, a senior economist at Freddie Mac and a graduate intern at the Federal Reserve Board of Governors. Richardson has taught economics and finance courses at both the University of Maryland and the John Hopkins Carey School of Business.
Richardson holds a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Maryland, a master’s degree in economics from the University of Pennsylvania, and a bachelor’s degree from Indiana University.