Our research team releases regular monthly housing trends reports. These reports break down inventory metrics like the number of active listings and the pace of the market. In light of the developing COVID-19 situation affecting the industry, we want to give readers more timely weekly updates.
Generally, you can look forward to a Weekly Housing Trends View near the end of each week along with weekly coverage of our Housing Market Recovery Index and a weekly video update from our economists. Here’s what the housing market looked like over the last few weeks.
After an extraordinarily strong finish to 2020, the housing market lost some momentum in early 2021. However, we continue to see home buyers in the market and their activity level relative to sellers means that the market continues to favor sellers with a shrinking number of homes for sale, rising prices, and fast selling homes. As was the case even before the pandemic, supply is what’s needed to ensure that home sales continue to grow.
Weekly Housing Trends Key Findings
- Median listing prices grew at 15.0 percent over last year, notching 23 consecutive weeks of double-digit price growth. In 2020, lower mortgage rates have blunted the otherwise dampening effect that higher prices could have on buyer demand. Just last week, however, mortgage rates ticked up a notable 14 basis points, perhaps signaling a new course for the year. If mortgage rates maintain this new course, as we expect, affordability is likely to become a bigger challenge and thus a bigger concern in 2021.
- New listings continue to fall behind the year ago pace–registering 22 percent lower this week. After the positive momentum we saw in new listings at the end of 2020, new listings have made an abrupt about-face to start 2021. The new listings trend is noisier than active inventory since it’s a smaller set of data, and especially so in the slower winter season, but with three consecutive weeks of decline, it’s clear that the supply of home sellers has started the year on a weaker note. Earlier in the pandemic, new listing trends were weakest in markets with higher prevalence of COVID-19, and the post-holiday surge in COVID-19 is likely one reason for the recent trend. Looking forward, the surge in new cases is abating, and we’ve seen declines in new listings shrink over the last 3 weeks. We expect new housing supply to continue to improve, if unevenly, as we move through the year.
- Total active inventory continues to decline, dropping 43 percent. A greater decline in overall inventory than in new listings suggest that buyers remain more active in the housing market than sellers.
- Time on market was 9 days faster than last year. Although the gap is shrinking, homes are still selling faster than they did in January 2020. In other words, buyers have the advantage of lower mortgage rates this year, but they’ll need to make a quick decision when they find a home they like.
|First 2 Weeks
|Week ending Jan 2||Week ending Jan 9||Week ending Jan 16|
|Median Listing Prices||+4.5% YOY||+12.4% YOY||+15.4% YOY||+15.0% YOY|
|New Listings||+5% YOY||-35% YOY||-26% YOY||-22% YOY|
|Total Listings||-16% YOY||-41% YOY||-41% YOY||-43% YOY|
|Time on Market||4 days faster YOY||11 days faster YOY||10 days faster YOY||9 days faster YOY|
You can download weekly housing market data from our data page.
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