Housing Markets: A Return to Pre-COVID Seasonality?


David Deem

Are the housing markets adjusting back to pre-COVID seasonal patterns? Recent data from realtor.com®'s latest Weekly Housing Trends Report, for the week ended Sept. 4, suggests a more stabilized market.

Key findings:
- Median listing prices increased 8.3% YoY—the sixth consecutive week of single-digit price growth.
- The U.S. median listing is still near July's record-high of $385,000, however.
- New listings decreased 8.1%—the first dip in nine weeks.
- Total active inventory was just 24% lower than last year, improving over August's 25.8% YoY decline.
- Days on market decreased by 12 days YoY, but has increased in 10 of the past 12 weeks.
The takeaway:
Even with new listings down, the inventory gap compared to pre-COVID levels has decreased significantly, realtor.com® reports, as more new sellers have entered the market so far in 2021 than last year. Additionally, while we've experienced rare heated markets in the off season in the last year and a half, recent days on market data suggests that we have entered more typical seasonal patterns as seen pre-COVID.
"New listings—an important indicator of real estate activity—are a key factor to watch in the housing market recovery. While last week's new listings dip took some steam out of recent buyer-friendly inventory trends, other metrics like listing price growth and time on market continued moderating from the frenzy seen earlier this year," said realtor.com® Chief Economist Danielle Hale in a statement. "It's still a good time to sell, with prices remaining near record-highs as eager buyers continue snatching up homes as soon as they hit the market."
"It's likely that we'll see some bounce back in new listings growth in the weeks following Labor Day, similar to the earlier summer holidays," added Hale. "And if more new sellers continue to list relatively affordable entry-level homes, first-time homebuyers in particular may see more available listings in their budgets."



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