The inventory-starved U.S. housing market may be poised for a rebound.
That’s according to new data from Realtor.com, which shows active listings posted the smallest year-over-year decline since before the COVID-19 pandemic came to the U.S.
“April data suggests a positive turn of events is on the horizon for weary buyers: If the trends we’re seeing now hold true, we could potentially see year-over-year inventory growth within the next few weeks,” Danielle Hale, Realtor.com’s chief economist, said in a statement.
What’s happening: Last month, U.S. housing inventory was 12% lower than the same month last year, which is the smallest year-over-year decline since December 2019, according to Realtor.com’s Monthly Housing Trends Report released Tuesday.
The April inventory decline is a smaller rate of decline compared to a nearly 19% drop in March. “This amounted to 57,000 fewer homes actively for sale on a typical day in April compared to the previous year,” according to the report.
In the final week of April, however, active listings were only down 3.4% on a year-over-year basis. If that trend persists, the U.S. housing market may see home listings grow over last year’s inventory in coming weeks, Realtor.com economists wrote.
What’s driving this trend? The data “reveals that housing demand has continued to moderate while buyers contend with both rising home prices and rising mortgage rates,” the Realtor.com report states.
The inventory bump was led by increases in the share of midsize homes, which could mean more listings available for families looking to upgrade from their starter homes, according to Realtor.com. In turn, that could possibly result in more inventory for first-time buyers.
“The key to this growth will be the continuation of softening buyer competition and an increasing number of sellers putting homes on the market,” Hale said.
“While home shoppers are still seeking relief from record-high asking prices and all-time low supply, when compared to the past two-plus years of double-digit annual inventory declines, an imminent rebound is welcome news — a real estate refresh, if you will,” Hale added. “There’s a long uphill climb to balance, but it starts with heading in the right direction, and April data shows a lot of promise.”
Yes, but: Inventory of active listings was still down over 60% compared to 2020 right at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. “In other words, for every five homes available for sale in the earlier period, today there are just two,” according to the report. And sellers still listed homes at rates 13% lower than typical 2017 to 2019 levels pre-pandemic.
Plus, homes remain expensive and continue to fly off the market.
- In April, the national median listing price for active listings was $425,000, up 14.2% compared to last year and up 32.4% compared to April 2020, according to Realtor.com.
- Nationally, the typical home spent 34 days on the market in April, down six days from the same time last year and down 28 days from April 2020.