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May Housing Data Indicates Return to Normalcy

According toⓇ’s May Monthly Housing Trends Report, the United States housing market is strengthening as states begin to reopen after quarantine and lockdown measures related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The data shows that for the top 50 metropolitan areas included in the data, home prices are remaining firm and more listings are coming on the market.

In 35 of the 50 metro areas studied, median listing prices increased compared to this time last year. As a result, the national median listing price set a new record high in May, coming in at $330,000.  According to Danielle Hale,Ⓡ’s chief economist, “May’s home price data demonstrate the underlying strength of the U.S. housing market despite the challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic. The fact that home prices are at an all-time high shows that the momentum the market had prior to the pandemic has helped to keep buyer and seller expectations stable. Ongoing inventory shortages that continue to worsen, also push home prices higher even while homes sell more slowly.”

Indeed, housing inventories remain low, 20% lower than one year ago. But the rate of decline for newly listed properties shows significant improvement. Compared to April’s inventory declines that were off 44.1%, May’s inventory declines lowered to 29.4%. This indicates that a sense of normalcy is returning to the housing market, and Hale predicts a strong but shortened summer selling season.

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