Here’s some positive housing market news from realtor.com’ s Weekly Housing Trends Report for the week ending May 23. The numbers show more new listings than in previous weeks. That’s a sign of a market kicking into more of a recovery mode.
Here are some highlights from the report: “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 the last several weeks.” For the week of May 16, median listing prices were down 28 percent year-over-year. The prior week that number was down 29 percent.
Year-over-year declines in new listings continue to improve but are not quite back to normal levels yet. “There is proof that the worse is behind us. It appears we are set for a slow but good recovery,” observes Javier Vivas, realtor.com’s director of research.
Active sellers are key to a healthy market. Consider that new listings were declining by 30 to 40 percent during the peak COVID weeks. Areas hard hit by COVID including New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago surprisingly saw smaller new listing declines during that week ending May 23. “We are seeing sellers coming back or entering the market as they are more confident with pricing than last month,” Vivas said.
Year-over-Year asking prices are even looking up a bit. In the top 100 metro areas, median listing prices for the week ending May 23 were up 3.1 percent. That’s also good news when compared to 1.4 percent for the week ending May 9th. In the week ending May 16 the median U.S. listing price posted smaller increases of 1.5 percent. That’s why that 3.1 percent year-over-year increase looks encouraging.
Even more reason for optimism is that 77 of the 100 large metros realtor.com looked at saw median listing prices increase over last year. “The two important numbers to look at are the increase in asking prices which are now closer to pre-COVID levels on newly listed properties,” Vivas explains.
The Boston metro area a COVID hotspot is posting a median year-over-year listing price gain of 4.4 percent. Metros with double-digit gains included Los Angeles (16 percent), Pittsburgh (14 percent), and Dayton, Ohio (29 percent).
The takeaway from Vivas is, “how fast sellers regain confidence and get back into the market will determine if summer can get us back on the way to a regular market.”
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