The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has done little to stem interest in the housing market.
Home prices across the U.S. continue to accelerate, and last month they moved into uncharted territory as the national median listing price reached $349,000 in July – a record high.
That’s according to Realtor.com’s latest Monthly Housing Trends report, which noted that homes are selling at an increasingly rapid rate too. With so few homes listed for sale, buyers are snatching them up as fast as they can, and the housing inventory has now declined to one third of what it was last summer.
National listing prices grew 8.5% in July year over year. Homes are selling six days faster than a year ago, Realtor.com said. Homes are selling the fastest compared to a year ago in markets like Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, Pa.-N.J.-Del.-Md.; Boston-Cambridge-Newton, Mass.-N.H.; and Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford, Conn., realtor.com® reports.
When the COVID-19 outbreak first struck the U.S. in March, home prices tumbled. But, since April, home prices have reversed course and accelerated each month. July’s listing price increase of 8.5% marks the largest jump in median listing prices in one month since November 2018, equating to a $27,000 increase from a year ago.
The Northeast is now leading the nation’s housing recovery, realtor.com® reports. “After being particularly hard-hit in March and April, new coronavirus cases remain stable in the Northeast and we’re seeing buyers return to the market in force,” said Danielle Hale, realtor.com’s chief economist. “If this same trend follows in the South and Midwest—where outbreaks continue to rise—we could see a flurry of activity well into the fall, especially as schools delay their openings.”
Hale added that “the U.S. housing market performance is closely mirroring COVID’s path, which is providing clues into what we can expect for various housing markets in the months to come.”
Housing inventories remain tight across the country. Inventories of new listings are down 34.8% compared to a year ago, according to Realtor.com. The metros that have seen the largest declines in inventory are Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, Calif. (down 50.4% annually); Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, Md. (down 48.7%); and Providence-Warwick, R.I.-Mass. (down 47.4%).