Report: Sellers Market Holding Strong Despite Inventory Influx

In May, median list prices showed an increase of 37.5% since May 2019, with inventory down 34.2% compared to typical levels between 2017 – 2019, according to a new® housing report, with economists saying this indicates the market remains tilted toward sellers (and existing homeowners).

“In addition to higher median list prices and fewer homes for sale versus 2019, the increase in median price-per-square foot suggests that the typical home on the market today is worth 52.7% more than before the pandemic, more than double the roughly 23% increase in consumer price inflation in this period,” said® Chief Economist Danielle Hale, in a statement. 

Hale also noted that the data points toward opportunity for sellers, and while mortgage rates still remain relatively high, more specifically, “this opportunity favors sellers who don’t have to replace a mortgage, such as investors or second homeowners looking for an exit, or equity-rich homeowners looking to downsize in their current area or to a lower-cost region, as well as those planning to rent their next home.”

Expanding on price-per-square foot changes, the median price of homes for sale was rather stable in May, growing only 0.3%—from $441,000 to $442,500. But, looking at median price-per-square foot, which® claims “can be seen as a better indication of home value,” shows a 3.8% increase.

Additionally, percent change in median listing price and price-per-square foot shows that inventory of smaller, more affordable homes has positively grown, according to the report, which contributes to maintaining the median listing price, despite per-square-foot prices continuing to grow.

Nationwide, the median price-per-square foot experienced sharp inclines, as roughly half of the 50 metros covered in the report experienced an increase in median price-per-square foot of at least 50% since 2019. New York (84.7%), Boston (72.9%) and Nashville (68.6%) experienced the biggest increases.

From May 2019 until present, the increase in median price-per-square foot can be deemed a plus for sellers—as the growth of 52.7% proves true that the median home listed on the market is worth that much more than pre-COVID days.

Diving deeper into the data, inventory continues to spike while affordable homes spot up across the market, with a 46.6% increase in homes priced between $200,000 to $350,000 nationwide year-over-year. May marked the seventh consecutive month where homes actively for sale increased, with 35.2% more homes actively on the market compared to May 2023. Tampa (87.4%), Phoenix (80.3%) and Orlando (78%) each saw massive gains in active listings year-over-year.

To read the full report, click here.

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