Housing prices aren’t coming down anytime soon according to realtor.com. In its latest housing report, the take-away is housing prices around the country remain at record highs as we move towards year-end. The U.S. median home price hit $350,000, a 12.9 percent year-over-year increase. Consider that’s the largest annual price growth since 2017.
Climbing prices have not kept buyers away. “This an unusual Fall market because it’s October and we are still seeing lots of buyers. The low-interest rates mean buyers can qualify for higher-priced homes which drives up market prices,” notes Danielle Hale, chief economist for realtor.com. “It does not appear prices are coming down anytime soon,” Hale adds.
The numbers showed 21 continuous weeks of median listing prices rising. Inventory declines were slightly down. This is a small sign “sellers may be staying in the market”, according to Hale. Yet year-over-year inventory is down significantly—38 percent. Look to that key market indicator, Days on Market and you’ll find homes are selling 13 days faster than they were in the first week of October 2019. “Sellers continue to get the message that buyers are actively participating in the market.” The national market is stronger now than in the pre-COVID days of January.
Realtor.com’s proprietary, Housing Market Recovery Index (Housing Market Recovery Index,) rang in at 110.4 for the first week of October. Today’s market is 10.4 points stronger than before COVID. Hale’s advice for buyers in today’s market. “Buyers should be as prepared as possible with as much professional help as possible. Because those buyers will need to be able to make quick competitive choices.”
Here’s what’s happening in metros around the country defined by year-over-year median listing prices, total listings and, median days on market. The Charleston-North Charleston, South Carolina metro had a 14.4 percent median year-over-year price increase. Homes there are selling 22 days faster. Inventory is down from last year at the same time by 42.2 percent. Prices remain reasonable compared to higher-priced markets than Charleston. A 2,750 square foot colonial style home that appears move-in ready is listed for $394,000.
The Austin, Texas area saw numbers similar to Charleston with a 14.7 percent median price increase. Days on market were down 12 percent while inventory declined by almost 47 percent. In Austin, your homebuying dollar goes much further compared to Southern California. A gated country estate in Austin with a 3,733 square foot home on 5 acres is listed at $695,000.
In the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim metro prices jumped 16.5 percent. The median single-home value in Anaheim is $600,383. While total listings dropped almost 25 percent. A newly listed 1,386 square foot updated home in Anaheim has an asking price of $660,000.
Traditionally the upcoming holiday market from Thanksgiving to New Year’s is very slow. Sellers don’t want their homes on the market. It’s not the season for moving if you are a buyer unless you must. This just might be the year that continues to break all the rules.