The US housing market shows signs it’s inching toward recovery — but sellers are still hesitating

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Realtor.com looked at the 100 largest US metros and found that for the week ending May 23, the US housing market was showing signs of improvement.
The report found that, among other points, median listing prices saw a 3.1% year-over-year increase and were approaching pre-pandemic levels.
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The coronavirus pandemic brought most of the US housing market to a halt in mid-March. But as May closed out, the market showed early signs of healing.

The US housing market was on the upswing at the start of 2020. In the last quarter of 2019, million-dollar sales were up 11%, and housing prices overall were up. Heading into March, the market showed the kind of green shoots appropriate for the start of spring. In fact, in the first two weeks of the month, new listings saw a 5% increase, according to Realtor.com.

But as fears of the coronavirus spread, inventory began to plummet. By the last week of March, new listings were down 36.9% from the same time last year. In April, new listings were down 44.1%.

In April, pending home sales hit a record low. According to a report by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), they fell 21.8% to a level of 69, the largest decline since the NAR began collecting data back in 2001. And while some predicted the worst was yet to come, data from May sang a different tune.

Back in April, Bank of America forecasted that home prices would drop by 2% over the next year as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, and would hit bottom in April 2021. However, in May, BofA released another report suggesting that the housing market has already reached bottom — nearly a year ahead of schedule.

According to a report by the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), applications to purchase a home rose 6% for the week ending May 15 compared to the week prior. In addition, BofA reported that a survey conducted by the University of Michigan found an uptick in the percentage of respondents who believe now is a good time to buy; there has also been an increase in builder confidence.

As May progressed, data continued to support a slow return to a healthier market. A weekly housing update from Realtor.com looked at the 100 largest US metros and found that for the week ending May 23, median listing prices saw a 3.1% year-over-year increase and were approaching pre-pandemic levels — in the first two weeks of March, median listing prices saw an average year-over-year increase of 4.4%.

“Weekly data shows we have taken the first step in the process of returning to healthy housing conditions: getting buyers and sellers off the sidelines,” said Realtor.com’s director of econ mic research, Javier Vivas.

Data from Realtor.com also shows that for the week ending May 23, new listings saw a year-over-year decrease of just 20%. This comes after drops between 30% to 40% in the …read more

Source:: Business Insider

      

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