Indicators Level to Higher Information for Consumers within the Dwelling Market

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Signs Point to Better News for Buyers in the Home Market

With vaccination rates rising in many parts of the country and Covid-19 cases falling, daily life is slowly starting to resemble what it was like before the pandemic. The real estate market has a long way to go before it recovers from the sharp price hikes and inventory declines that have frustrated buyers over the past year and a half. But there are indications of change if you look carefully.

A few weeks ago we reported in this area that the bidding wars slowed down in August when, according to Redfin, a smaller proportion of homes were sold above the asking price than in July. And Realtor.com's September market report also revealed small but significant changes – for one, homes were taking longer to sell than in previous months.

In September, the number of listings available in the US declined about 22 percent year-over-year and more than 52 percent from September 2019, keeping the seller's market going. However, the September year-over-year decline was less than August, which was nearly 26 percent.

The national median list price rose nearly 9 percent year over year and nearly 21 percent compared to September 2019, which didn't make buying a home any easier. However, there was no change in the median list price from August to September after monthly increases throughout the year through June, no change in July and a further decrease in August – other small indications of a market correction.

Additionally, in nearly half of the top 50 US metropolitan areas, average list prices were lower or stable year over year. Average list prices fell the most in Milwaukee, over 14 percent year-over-year, while Pittsburgh, Cleveland and Detroit saw list prices drop 7.5 to 8 percent. At least in these areas, buyers can feel a certain relief.

The 24 subways among the 50 largest in the country that have seen prices drop or remain stable are shown in this week's graph, based on research by Realtor.com.

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