Amid rising home costs and sky-high mortgage rates, potential homebuyers have at least some good news: The number of homes for sale in the U.S. is slowly rising back to pre-pandemic levels.

According to Realtor.com’s monthly housing market trends report, the number of homes actively for sale grew in May for the seventh month in a row, growing by 35.2% since this time last year.

This increase in the number of homes for sale — along with mortgage rates ticking slightly downward — is expected to shift the housing market in a more “buyer-friendly direction,” the report found.

Inching toward normalcy

While the inventory of homes for sale this May is much higher than the previous three years, “it is still down 34.2% compared with typical 2017 to 2019 levels,” the report found. “This is a slight improvement from last month’s 35.9% gap, as inventory continues to slowly grow toward normalcy.”

“Looking ahead, active inventory is likely to surpass 2020 levels later this summer,” according to the Realtor.com report. “While this will be a notable milestone, the market is likely to achieve this feat because the sharp drop in housing inventory stems back to summer 2020, when the pandemic-era housing market began to heat up as mortgage rates tumbled and buyers made up for a lost spring.

“We expect a still-sizable gap between 2024 housing inventory and the pre-pandemic housing market to persist as it closes only gradually.”

The West and South saw the most growth

The South and West led the way in the rise of the inventory of homes available for sale.

In the South, listings grew by 47.2% since this time last year, and in the West, listings grew by 34.5%.

Meanwhile, the Midwest saw a 20.5% increase, and the Northeast only saw a 9.4% increase.

The metro areas that had the most inventory growth over the past year were Tampa, Florida, with an 87.4% increase; Phoenix, Arizona, 80.3%; and Orlando, Florida, 78.0%.

Number of homes available rises in Utah

This trend in inventory growth can be seen in Utah’s housing market as well.

In April, the number of homes for sale in the state was up 12.4% year-over-year, according to the most recent Redfin data.

There were 13,558 homes for sale in Utah in April. The majority of those homes (9,617) were single-family homes, with a 6.1% increase in inventory since last year.

Condo/co-ops saw the biggest year-over-year average increase in availability in Utah with a 32.5% jump since April of last year. In April of this year, there were 1,504 condo/co-ops for sale in Utah.

Townhouses had 32.3% jump in availability year-over-year, with 2,172 for sale in Utah in April of this year.