Realtor.com said in its latest Weekly Recovery Report that the housing market is still outperforming historical standards, with average home prices rising to new highs and homes selling faster.
Danielle Hale, chief economist at Realtor.com, said sellers continue to call the shots in the housing market today, with new inventory vanishing almost as soon as it appears on the market.
But there may be signs that changes are afoot in the housing market, though it’s too early to tell. According to Hale, demand from buyers fell slightly in the last week, while the number of new listings showed a smaller decline than in previous weeks.
“This could be a hiccup in weekly activity,” Hale said, but then again, they could also “signal a shift in the market dynamics leading into the fall, when political, economic and health-related uncertainties abound.”
Hale was referring to data from Realtor.com’s Housing Market Index, which hit a reading of 107.7 for the week ending September 5, up 7.7 points from its pre-COVID-19 baseline in January. Realtor.com said demand from home buyers fell by 3.3 points compared to the week before, while inventory showed an improvement, rising by 3.2 points, though it’s still far below the pre-coronavirus baseline.
It remains to be seen if the market dynamics will change, but in any case home prices are continuing to rise up. Last week, median listing prices were up 10.8% annually, which is the fastest pace of growth in more than two years, Hale said. Time on the market is now 12 days less than it was a year ago.
“Buyers are moving much faster than this time last year to beat out competition and lock in low mortgage rates,” Realtor.com said in its report. “This means homes are sitting on the market for much less time, despite notably higher price tags.”