Home Prices Tick Up After Two Months of Declines

Home prices grew in August, following two months of declines, according to a new report from Realtor.com.  Active inventory remained almost 50%  below the levels seen in 2017 to 2019, although an increase in newly listed homes provides more options for home shoppers as the fall buying season approaches.

Realtor.com’s Monthly Housing Trends Report for August found that the median listing price grew by 0.7% to $435,000, up 37.9% from 2019. Active listings were down 7.9%, and down 45.8% from 2019. New listings fell 7.5%, and were down 19.3% from 2019. Median days on the market rose by 5 days to 46, down 13 days from 2019. The share of active listings with price reductions dropped 3.1 percentage points to 16.2%, down 1.4 percentage points from 2019.

Key highlights:

  • While all regions saw listing prices in larger metros increase on average, Northeastern metros had the highest growth rate in active listing prices, with an average increase of 9.7% over the past year.
  • Among the 50 largest U.S. metros, only 7 saw their median list price decline compared with this time last year, down from 12 last month. Declines were greatest in Raleigh (-4.6%) and Las Vegas (-2.8%).  
  • Nationally, the share of homes with price reductions decreased from 19.3% last year to 16.2% this year, and remains below typical levels seen in 2017 to 2019.
  • Among the 50 largest metros, the largest increases in the percentage of homes with price reductions compared to last year were in San Antonio (+3.9 percentage points), Memphis (+3.7), and Oklahoma City (+1.9).
  • Pending listings declined by 11.5% compared to last year, which is slightly smaller than July’s 12.6% decline and much improved from December’s peak decline (-36.9%). 
  • Newly listed homes were 7.5% below last year’s levels, but this rate of decline is much improved from a decline of 20.8% in July. Newly listed homes increased by 3.5% from July to August. 
  • In all regions, the inventory of homes actively for sale was down 30%–60% from pre-pandemic levels. Inventory declined least in the South, by 1.5% compared to last year, followed by a decline of 13.5% in the Midwest, 19.3% in the Northeast, and 31.5% in the West. 
  • In August, only Milwaukee (+6.8%) and Jacksonville (+4.0%) saw new listings increase over the same time last year. Declines in new listings were greatest in Nashville (-27.2%) Cincinnati (-25.0%) and Seattle (-24.7%). 
  • Time on market increased compared to last year in 35 of the 50 largest metro areas. Larger metros in the South saw the greatest increase (+6 days), followed by the Northeast (+2 days), Midwest (+1 day) and West (+0 days). 
  • At the market level, time on market increased the most in Austin and New Orleans (+15 days), as well as in Miami (+13 days).

Major takeaway:

“While the uptick in new listings is good news for home shoppers, inventory remains persistently low, even with record-high mortgage rates putting a damper on demand,” said Danielle Hale, Chief Economist for Realtor.com. “The inventory crunch continues to put upward pressure on home prices, amplifying affordability concerns and shutting some potential buyers out of the market. However, we anticipate mortgage rates will gradually ease through the end of the year and, despite this month’s bump in home prices, we’ll be unlikely to see a new price peak this year.” 

Realtor.com Executive News Editor Clare Trapasso added, “As fall buying activity heats up, the newly available homes for sale aren’t likely to remain on the market long, so sellers and hopeful homebuyers will need to be prepared to move quickly. Home shoppers can save searches on Realtor.com® to receive real-time alerts, receive mortgage pre-approvals, and pore over their budgets to determine what they can realistically afford with today’s higher mortgage rates.”

For the full report, click here.

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