Weekly Housing Trends: Week of August 21, 2021
Thursday, September 9, 2021
Our research team releases regular monthly housing trends reports. These reports break down inventory metrics like the number of active listings and the pace of the market. In light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we want to give readers more timely weekly updates. Generally, you can look forward to a Weekly Housing Trends View near the end of each week along with a weekly video update from our economists. Here’s what the housing market looked like over the last week
With fewer new listings hitting the market this week compared to the last 6 weeks, we saw a slight slowing in the buyer-friendly trends we’ve seen in recent weeks. Home prices continue to advance at a high single-digit pace while the total number of homes actively listed for sale continues to try to catch up to year-ago levels. Slowing price growth means that the August median list price is likely to decline slightly from July’s record $385,000, heralding a return to the normal seasonal cooling that the market largely missed in 2020. Sellers can expect near-record prices while buyers can take advantage of this seasonal opportunity. With rents rising, potential first-time homebuyers may be particularly incentivized to explore this option and see if it’s a fit for their personal goals.
Weekly Housing Trends Key Findings
- The median listing price grew at 8.6 percent over last year, marking four straight weeks of single-digit price growth after a 50-week streak of double-digit price growth. Despite the slower growth rate, the median home list price remains near its record-high July level of $385,000. Additionally, this rate of growth is still higher than we’ve seen historically. We expect prices to ease as we head into fall, as they have historically, which will mean still-strong pricing for sellers and a window of opportunity for buyers.
- New listings–a measure of sellers putting homes up for sale–were up just 2 percent. The number of homeowners listing homes for sale has been a crucial bell-weather in an inventory-starved housing market, contributing much-needed supply to eager buyers. In 19 of the last 22 weeks, we’ve seen more new sellers than 2020 and the gap with a more ‘normal’ 2019 pace has shrunk considerably. This week’s gain was smaller than we’ve seen recently but could be a temporary setback as a more normal end-of-summer and back-to-school pattern emerges. This is a figure we’ll watch closely over the next few weeks.
- Total active inventory continues to play catch up to last year and is down just 25 percent from a year ago. Buyers will still see fewer homes for sale than last year, but the gap continues to shrink, getting smaller for the last 20 weeks in a row. With fewer new listings coming up for sale this week, the pace of improvement slowed, but even at the slower pace of improvement seen this week, we could see inventories on par with last year before the end of 2021, a welcome relief for buyers.
- Time on the market was down 17 days from last year. Homes that are in good condition and well-priced continue to sell fast. The typical active listing was on the market 38 days in July, just a day longer than June’s record-fast pace. We expect this more normal seasonal slowing to continue this year, even as homes continue to sell faster than in the previous year.