Homes are sitting on the market more than two weeks longer than last year
Realtor.com® today announced the findings of its Weekly Housing Trends Report for the week ending May 16. According to national data, homes sat on the market 15 days longer than last year, new listing declines showed slight improvement, total listings continued their downward trend, and median listing prices showed minimal growth.
“Mid-May is normally the time of year when homes sell the fastest, but today’s median time on market is more like what we usually see in late February or November,” said Danielle Hale, chief economist for realtor.com®. “While the real estate industry has leveraged technology to help buyers find homes and get to the closing table, virtual or physical, sellers will note that the pandemic has had a dramatic impact on the time it takes to find a buyer. Looking forward, we expect time on market figures to improve in late summer, especially as buyers try to make up for the missed spring season.”
- Time on market was 15 days slower than last year, the biggest increase in time on market since 2013.
- New listings were down -28%. Declines persist nationwide but hold onto last week’s improvement.
- Total inventory was down -20%.
- Median listing prices are still growing at a slower pace than pre-COVID, but they may regain momentum in the weeks to come
Week ending May 16
Week ending May 9
Week ending May 2
First Two Weeks March
Time on Market
15 days slower YOY
13 days slower YOY
11 days slower YOY
4 days faster YOY
Median Listing Prices
Time on market: With states just beginning to open up, homes are sitting on the market more than two weeks longer than this time last year. As we start to see buyers come back to the market, the time it takes to sell could quicken later this summer.
Data for the week ending May 16 showed that time on market was 15 days or 27 percent greater than last year, the largest increase in time on market since 2013. This is significantly slower than what we were seeing the first two weeks in March (our pre-COVID-19 base) where homes were moving 4 days faster than last year on average. This trend is visible in local data as well as the national figures, with 69 of the largest 100 metros showing similar double-digit percent increases in time on market from one year ago.
New listings: Declines in new listings remained consistent with last week registering a decline of 28 percent for the week ending May 16. This week’s decline remains a significant improvement over the more than 40 percent declines in prior weeks.
Fewer sellers are putting homes up for sale than compared to this time last year, which is unsurprising given shelter in place orders and record high unemployment. In the most recent three weeks ending May 2, May 9, and May 16 the volume of newly listed properties decreased by 39 percent, 29 percent, and 28 percent year-over-year, respectively, compared to the 5 percent increase we saw the first two weeks of March. While new listings supply has yet to return back to last year’s levels, the gap is getting smaller. Locally, we are also seeing signs of improvement on the horizon with nearly half (44 of 98) of large metros continuing to see smaller declines in new listings, including markets that took big initial supply hits such as New York, Miami and Washington DC.
Asking prices: Sellers continue to look for minimal home price growth, and the mix of homes for-sale is reverting back toward pricier properties keeping price growth largely steady.
For the week ending May 16, median listing prices grew 1.5 percent year-over-year compared to 1.4 percent last week. While improving, the growth is nowhere close to the +4.4 increase we saw the first two weeks of March. Looking forward, asking prices will likely regain momentum in the weeks to come as sellers regain confidence and buyers slowly resume activity. Locally, 76 of the largest 100 metros saw asking prices increase over last year.
Total Active Listings: Total active listings declined from a year ago at a faster rate than observed in previous weeks. This trend could worsen as buyers regain confidence and come back to the market before sellers.
For the week ending May 16, total active listings declined 20 percent compared to a year ago, up from a 19 percent yearly decline for the weeks ending May 9 and May 2. If the flow of new listings into the market remains minimal we could see rapid declines in total inventory for the weeks to come, especially as buyers come back into the market.
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Lexie Holbert, firstname.lastname@example.org