Realtor.com recently released the latest numbers on the country’s housing market. Economists crunched the numbers from August. Despite a 10 % year-over-year increase in the national median listing price to $350,000, the market is hotter and more competitive than ever. This current listing price growth is the highest in three years.
“The biggest surprise I saw was that home prices are growing at a faster pace than we have seen in years,” notes realtor.com’s chief economist Danielle Hale. “Despite the economic environment the historically low mortgage rates have brought buyers into the market in a frenzy,” she adds.
The August Monthly Housing Trends Report found homes selling at their fastest pace in 15 months. According to the report, one of the drivers is a significant decline in inventory — at the end of August, there were nearly 500,000 fewer homes available for sale compared to a year ago. While the number of homes listed for sale in the top 50 largest metros showed a year-over-year 38.1% decline. That is even higher than July’s 34.8 %. This national number from realtor.com tells the story. Buyers in competitive Southern California markets including Los Angeles and San Diego can tell you trying to buy a home today is beyond stressful.
That key August listing price number jumped an average of 8.9% in the country’s 50 largest metros. Compare that to 7.8 % in July. Leading in year-over-year price gains is the Northeast region. Listing prices rose 19% in Philadelphia, 14.7% in Boston; and 12.2% in Providence-Warwick. The Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach market was the only metro to experience a decline in listing prices.
Let’s take a deep dive into the top markets. The Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, Pa.-N.J.-Del.-Md metro performed the best. The median listing price there rose 18.6 % to $343,000. Homes sold 15 days faster than last August. The active inventory count was down 45 %. The already pricey Boston-Cambridge-Newton, Mass.-N.H. metro saw the median listing price increase to $678,500. That was a 14.7 % increase.
Midwest metros including Cleveland, Cincinnati, and Kansas City also saw sharp price increases. The Cincinnati metro had a 17.8 % year-over-year median listing price gain. That put the median listing price at $327,300. Moving across the country to the San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, Calif. metro the median listing price there increased 12.3% to $1,029,100. Hard to believe these stats as the pandemic continues.
Realtor.com’s Hale provides some takeaways moving forward. “We are seeing this buyer urgency because there was no spring buying season. Buyers are playing catch-up. We keep looking for signs of the market slowing and are just not seeing them right now.” That’s good news for sellers and real estate brokers.