While the pandemic continues, home prices are accelerating and, in some markets, began to edge into previously uncharted territory this month. The national median listing price in July was $349,000—a record high, realtor.com® reports in its latest Monthly Housing Trends report.
Further, homes are selling just as fast as they were last year. Buyers are in a rush for fewer homes for sale. Nationally, the housing inventory has declined to nearly one-third of what it was last summer, realtor.com® reports.
National listing prices grew 8.5% in July year over year. Homes are selling six days faster than a year ago. 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, realtor.com® notes, 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,” says 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.”
Indeed, Hale notes 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%).