Signs Point to Better News for Home Market Buyers

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As vaccination rates rise and Covid-19 cases decline in many parts of the country, daily life is slowly starting to look like it was before the pandemic. The real estate market still has a long way to go before it recovers from the steep price hikes and inventory drops that have frustrated buyers over the past year and a half. But there are hints of change, if you look closely.

A few weeks ago in this space, we reported that the bidding wars slowed down in August, when a smaller share of homes sold above asking price compared to July, according to Redfin. And Realtor.com’s September market report also revealed small but significant changes – on the one hand, homes also took longer to sell than in previous months.

In September, the number of listings available in the United States was down about 22% year-over-year and more than 52% from September 2019, keeping the seller market continuous. But September’s year-over-year decline was smaller than August’s, which was almost 26%.

The national median list price is up almost 9% year-on-year and almost 21% from September 2019, again making it difficult to buy a home. There was, however, no change in the median list price from August to September after monthly increases throughout the year through June, no change in July and another drop in August – more small hints of correcting the Marlet.

In addition, in nearly half of the 50 largest metropolitan areas in the United States, median list prices were down or stable compared to a year ago. Median list prices fell the most in Milwaukee, down more than 14% from last year, while in Pittsburgh, Cleveland and Detroit, list prices fell 7.5-8%. In these areas, at least, buyers can feel some relief.

The 24 metros among the top 50 in the country where prices have fallen or remained stable are shown in this week’s chart, based on research by Realtor.com.


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