Housing Recovery in Full Swing as Sellers Inch Their Way Back into the Market

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National Recovery Trends

Despite the cooler weather in many parts of the country, the housing market continues to enjoy an extra boost in activity this fall. The realtor.com Housing Market Recovery Index reached 111.8 nationwide for the week ending October 10th, 11.8 points above the pre-COVID baseline and an increase of 1.3 points over last week. The overall index has spent 13 straight weeks above recovery after spending 17 weeks below recovery in the early pandemic.

Buyers and sellers remain increasingly motivated post pandemic, setting the stage for a full market recovery through the end of the year. While many buyers will still struggle to find the right home for their budget this fall, this week’s data shows more sellers are finding the motivation to list, providing more options for buyers than it’s typical for October. Competition among buyers remains fierce, and even small improvements to supply could enable a new record for home sales for October not seen since the mid-2000s.

Week ending 10/10 Current 


w/w change # of consecutive weeks above recovery
Overall Housing Recovery Index 111.8 +1.3 13
Housing Demand Growth Index 123.6 +2.8 23
Listing Price Growth Index 108.5 -0.7 19
New Supply Growth Index 103.6 +2.7 3
Pace of Sales Index 119.2 +1.5 12

The ‘housing demand’ component – which tracks growth in online search activity – remained visibly above recovery, with this week’s index reaching 123.6, an increase of 2.7 points over the prior week. Homebuyer interest has surpassed expectations post-pandemic, as detected on realtor.com over the last few months. While record-high prices, short supply and economic headwinds pose significant challenges, the lineup of buyers has not gotten significantly shorter since May.

The ‘home price’ component – which tracks growth in asking prices – decreased by 0.7 points last week, and is now at 108.5, 8.5 points above the January baseline. Despite a small decrease this past week, with supply at record lows and buyer competition showing continued strength, sellers have newfound leverage, enabling the fastest listing price growth recorded in more than two years.

The ‘pace of sales’ component – which tracks differences in time-on-market – continues to remain above the pre-COVID baseline. The time-on-market index increased to 119.2, 1.5 points higher than the previous week. It is 19.2 points above the January baseline, suggesting buyers and sellers are continuing to connect at a faster rate going into the fall.

The ‘housing supply’ component – which tracks growth of new listings – has increased back  to 103.6, up 2.7 points over the prior week. If new listings continue to be brought to market at a similar pace, the housing market could buck the usual seasonal decline in new listings throughout the fall.

Local Recovery Trends

All regions across the country saw a small decline in the recovery index this week.  The West (118.5) continues to lead the pack in the recovery, and its index increased by 2.8 points compared to last week. The Northeast (110.6), Midwest (107.5), and South (107.2) also remain above recovery pace, with the South improving with a substantial 2.9 point gain over the prior week, while the Northeast decreased slightly, by 0.1 points.

Social distancing and economic resilience continue to be key factors driving local differences in the housing recovery. Per our earlier research, the spread of COVID-19 is closely linked to the housing slowdown, with markets with higher cases per capita more likely to see a bigger impact on supply and the pace of sales. The speed and sustainability of the reopening, and each market’s ability to contain COVID-19, are dictating the speed of recovery across the regions. Finally, resilient economies may have an edge in the housing recovery, and areas with strong job markets before COVID-19, especially those with thriving tech sectors, are seeing buyers and sellers reconnect faster than the rest of the country.

Region Avg Recovery Index 

(week ending 10/10)

West 118.5 +2.8
South 107.2 +2.9
Northeast 110.6 -0.1
Midwest 107.5 +0.8
49 of 50 Largest Markets Now Above the Recovery Benchmark

Locally, a total of 49 markets have crossed the recovery benchmark as of this week, two more than the previous week, with only Buffalo, NY yet to reach the recovery point. The overall recovery index is showing greatest recovery in Seattle, Boston, Los Angeles, Las Vegas and San Jose. Markets in the sunbelt (Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Alabama) and parts of the midwest (Michigan, Indiana, Wisconsin) struggled to recover through the summer but appear to be re-emerging going into the fall.

In the ‘housing demand’ component, all 50 markets are now positioned above the recovery trend. The most recovered markets for home-buying interest include Sacramento, Miami, Minneapolis, New York and Austin, with a housing demand growth index between 139 and 147.

In the ‘home price’ component, 31 of the 50 largest markets seeing growth in asking prices surpass the January baseline, two less than the previous week. In the top 10 most-recovered markets, asking prices are now growing at 14 percent year-over-year, on average. The most recovered markets for home prices include Austin, Pittsburgh, Riverside-San Bernardino, Atlanta and New Orleans, with a home price growth index between 110 and 113.

In the ‘pace of sales’ component, 46 of the 50 largest markets are now seeing the time on market index surpass the January baseline, unchanged from the previous week. In the top 10 most recovered markets for pace of sales, time-on-market is now down 25 percent, on average, year-over-year. The most recovered markets for time-on-market include Los Angeles, Boston, Seattle, Las Vegas, and Riverside-San Bernardino, with a pace of sales growth index between 133 and 158.

In the ‘housing supply’ component, 30 of the 50 largest markets saw the new listings index surpass the January baseline, six more than last week. Interestingly, markets where new supply is improving the fastest tend to be higher priced than those that have yet to see improvement, suggesting sellers are more active in the more expensive markets. The most recovered markets for new listings included San Jose, San Francisco, Seattle, Los Angeles and Denver, with a new listings growth index between 130 and 163.

Published by Realtor.com

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