Pixabay photo

Urban News Staff Reports

Realtor.com released its Weekly Housing Trends Report for the week ending May 23, which points to a shift towards a COVID-19 housing recovery. 
After several weeks of dramatic drops in new listings and almost flat yearly price gains, this week’s data shows another improvement in new listings, as well as an uptick in home prices as buyers and sellers return to the market.
“Weekly data shows we have taken the first step in the process of returning to healthy housing conditions: getting buyers and sellers off the sidelines,” said Javier Vivas, director of economic research for realtor.com. “The improvement in new listings this week is a sign the market is on its way to recovery, but the deficit in total inventory will be a drag on sales. Many buyers are ready and itching to get back on the market, so the faster we see sellers return, the faster home sales will recover.”
Key Findings for the Week Ending May 23:
  • Median listing prices have regained momentum and growth is now approaching pre-COVID levels.
  • New listings are down just 20 percent as more sellers return to the market compared to a week ago. Year-over-year declines in new listings continue to improve, but are not quite back to normal levels yet.
  • Total inventory was down 22 percent with signs pointing to rising home buyer interest, and steeper declines in inventory on the horizon unless more sellers list homes for sale. 
  • Time on market was 16 days slower than last year, as it takes longer to find a buyer and complete a sale in current market conditions.

New listings: Nationwide, the size of declines eased this week, dropping nearly 20 percent, a sizable improvement over the 30 to 40 percent declines in prior weeks. While more sellers are returning to the market every week, newly listed properties still remain below normal levels for this time of the year, nationwide and in all large markets.

In the first two weeks in March (our pre-COVID-19 base), new listings were increasing 5 percent year-over-year on average. In the most recent three weeks ending May 9, May 16, and May 23 the volume of newly listed properties decreased by 29 percent, 28 percent, and 20 percent year-over-year, respectively. Three quarters (75 of 100) of large metros continued to see smaller declines this week, including the largest three markets in the country: New York, Los Angeles and Chicago.

Asking prices: This week’s data shows price gains are reaccelerating as the mix of homes for-sale appears to be reverting back toward pricier properties. While current price gains remain below pre COVID-19 levels, we expect them to regain momentum in the weeks to come as sellers regain confidence and buyers resume activity.

In the first two weeks of March (our pre-COVID-19 base), median listing prices were increasing 4.4 percent year-over-year on average. In the most recent three weeks ending May 9, May 16, and May 23, the median U.S. listing price posted an increase of 1.4 percent, 1.5 percent and 3.1 percent year-over-year, respectively. Locally, 77 of 100 large metros saw asking prices increase over last year.

Total Active Listings: Sellers have yet to come back in full force, limiting the availability of homes for sale. Total active listings are declining from a year ago at a faster rate than observed in previous weeks. Signs, such as an increase in purchase mortgage applications compared to last week and a year ago, are pointing to rising home buyer interest, and steeper declines in inventory could be on the horizon if more sellers don’t list homes to meet rising demand.

Weekly data shows total active listings declined 22 percent on a yearly basis for the week ending May 23, compared to declines of 20 percent and 19 percent for the weeks ending May 16 and May 9.

Time on market: While new listings and asking prices are gaining momentum, homes are still sitting on the market for more than two weeks longer than this time last year. With fewer new properties compared to last year and buyers taking their time in this strange new world of home searching, sellers should be prepared to wait longer to find a buyer and longer for the transaction to close as well. It could take a few more weeks for time on market to reach normal levels as buyers come back to the market and sales start to pick up.

In the first two weeks in March (our pre-COVID-19 base), days on market were 4 days faster than last year on average. Data for the week ending May 23 showed that time on market was 16 days or 29 percent higher than last year, the biggest increase in time on market since 2013. This trend is visible in local data as well as the national figures, with 93 of the largest 100 metros showing similar double-digit percent increases in time on market from one year ago. In particular, New York and Michigan markets are seeing large jumps in age of inventory compared to last spring.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *