During a time when the typical homebuying season is showing signs of slowing down, home buyers were out in full force in August, scooping up homes at a rapid pace and sending the nation’s median listing price up 10% to a new record of $350,000 as the nation’s inventory of for sale homes reached new lows, according to realtor.com®‘s August Monthly Housing Trends report.
Nationally, buyers continue to outnumber sellers as the inventory of available homes declined 36% in August year-over-year — a faster pace than July when inventory was down 33%. New listings were down 12% year-over-year, a slight improvement over July’s decline of 13%, but not nearly enough to make a dent in the overall inventory shortage. At the end of August, there were nearly 500,000 fewer homes available for sale compared to a year ago.
The lack of available inventory and strong buyer demand combined to accelerate listing price growth to its highest level in three years, while the pace at which homes sold continued to pick up steam. On average, a home in the U.S. is selling in 56 days, five days faster than last year.
“It’s difficult to imagine that the housing market will be able to sustain the frenzied demand we are currently experiencing, but we have yet to see any signs of slowing,” said Danielle Hale, realtor.com® Chief Economist. “Buyer traffic on realtor.com is outpacing the record levels we saw earlier this year, suggesting that demand will continue to exceed the number of available homes for sale. Although demand is much more intense than it normally is this late into a buying season, the typical home asking price has likely peaked for the year at $350,000. However, given the strong demand, sellers will remain in the driver’s seat for the foreseeable future.”
In July, the number of homes listed for sale in the nation’s 50 largest metros declined 38.1% year-over-year in August, up from the 34.8% year-over-year deficit in July. Forty four of the 50 largest metros experienced greater inventory declines than July despite an uptick in the volume of new listings in many of these same metros, underscoring just how hot the housing market is.
Indianapolis–Carmel–Anderson, Ind. (-55.9%); Riverside–San Bernardino–Ontario, Calif. (-55.5%); and Providence–Warwick, R.I.-Mass. (-51.7%); posted the largest inventory declines in August, while homes sold two, nine, and 10 days faster than last year in those markets, respectively.
Listing prices in the nation’s largest metros grew by an average of 8.9% compared to last year, up from 7.8% in July. Of the largest 50 metros, 49 saw year-over-year gains in median listing prices in August.
The Northeast is leading the price gain with listing prices up nearly 19% in Philadelphia, 14.7% in Boston; and 12.2% in Providence–Warwick. On the West Coast, San Francisco saw listing prices increase 12%. The Miami–Fort Lauderdale–West Palm Beach market was the only metro to see a year-over-year decline, with listing prices falling 0.3% most likely due to the recent spike in Coronavirus cases and lower international buyer demand.
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