Home prices continue to accelerate across the country with the national average median home price hitting an all-time high in July — reaching nearly $350,000 — reflecting the strength of the housing demand amid the pandemic, according to realtor.com’s July monthly Housing Trends report.
Northeastern metros have shown resilience, with properties selling more quickly than last year, an improving rate of newly listed properties and strong price growth.
Nationally, homes are selling in an average of 60 days, the same as last year. Low inventory remains a problem for homeowner hopefuls. The number of homes for sale across the nation was down 33%, or 440,000 listings, compared to a year ago. July’s inventory decline is an acceleration from June when listings declined by 27.4%.
“The coronavirus has impacted every corner of the U.S., but it hasn’t hit every area equally or at the same time,” said Danielle Hale, realtor.com’s chief economist. “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.”
She added, “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. 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.”
Much of the days-on-market improvement is being driven from the Northeast, where buyers are steadily scooping up properties six days faster than last year. These metro areas include Philadelphia, Boston and Hartford, Connecticut. In comparison, several large metro areas saw increases in time spent on the market, including Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, Florida; Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, Wisconsin; and Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, California.
Within the nation’s 50 largest metros, inventory declined by 34.8% year-over-year, an acceleration from June’s decline of 26.5%. In July, none of the 50 largest metros saw an inventory increase on a year-over-year basis, and 45 of the 50 metros saw greater inventory declines than last month.
Metros that saw the largest declines in inventory included Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, California (-50.4%); Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, Maryland (-48.7%); and Providence-Warwick, Rhode Island-Massachusetts. (-47.4%).
New listings were down 13.4% year-over-year, a significant improvement over April, when new listings were down 44.1%. Much like price growth and days on market, the nation’s inventory recovery is being led by the Northeast where new listings were down only 1.2% year over year. Throughout the rest of the country, new listings were down 10% in the West, 16.1% in the South and 20.8% in the Midwest.