Buyers are finding greater selection in their house hunt as new listings increase above pre-pandemic levels, according to realtor.com®’s latest Weekly Recovery Report, reflecting the week ending Aug. 8. The increase in new listings now brings all four major components of housing activity tracked on the index—also including housing demand, asking prices, and pace of sales—above the pre-pandemic baseline of January 2020.
“Seller confidence has been improving gradually after reaching its bottom in mid-April, and now it appears to have reached an important recovery milestone,” says Javier Vivas, director of economic research for realtor.com®. “After five long months, sellers are back in the housing market; while encouraging, the improvement to new listings is only the first step in the long road to solving low inventory issues keeping many buyers at bay.”
The realtor.com® Housing Market Recovery Index reached a reading of 105.6 nationwide for the week ending Aug. 8, 5.6 points above the pre-COVID-19 baseline. The index uses 100 as its baseline period to compare the housing market’s recovery to January 2020, before the coronavirus outbreak hit the U.S.
While new listings growth has recovered to pre-COVID-19 levels, it still remains down 6% year over year, realtor.com® reports. “The small number of homes for sale has been a key limited factor for buyers in the market, so continued recovery in new listings bodes well for home sales in the coming months,” realtor.com® reports.
Meanwhile, homes are selling four days faster than a year ago, and median listing prices jumped 9.9% over a year ago, realtor.com® reports. “The combination of eager buyers, low mortgage rates, and dwindling for-sale homes set the stage for further price increases,” realtor.com® notes in its report. “But the tide could be turning as sellers come back to the market and new construction picks up. This could help price growth move back to a more normal rate of increase.”