Buyers Struggle in Face of ‘Unseasonably High’ Interest in Housing
October 1, 2020
It’s a great time to be a home seller, but home buyers are feeling the competition—which is only growing. Homes sold faster in September than in August, realtor.com® reports in its September Monthly Housing Trends Report. September is usually the best time of year to buy a home since more homes tend to go on the market and there is less competition. Not in 2020.
The pandemic has fueled a buying spree that has led to a very competitive fall market for home shoppers. The average buyer is paying about $20,000 more for a home and facing 25% more competition than at the start of the year, realtor.com® reports. The number of homes on the market also has plunged 39% year over year in September, which equates to 529,000 fewer home listings.
“Many buyers tend to put their home search on hold after the start of the school year, but remote learning and the desire for more space continued to fuel buyer interest in September,” says Danielle Hale, chief economist at realtor.com®. “Unseasonably high buyer interest coupled with historically low inventory and favorable mortgage rates are creating a perfect storm in the housing market. While this is good news for anyone looking to sell their home, it has created tremendous competition among buyers.”
Homes are selling 12 days faster than normal. There are about 25% more buyers in the market compared to the start of the year. Typically, there are only 9% more buyers in the market in September compared to the beginning of the year, realtor.com® notes.
Properties are selling the fastest in the Northeast, where properties are spending 13 fewer days on the market compared to a year ago, followed by the South (11 days faster), the Midwest (9 days faster), and the West (7 days faster).
All of the nation’s 50 largest metros are seeing home prices rise compared to last year. In the Northeast, average home prices have jumped 12.8% compared to a year ago, followed by a 10.9% annual increase in Midwestern metros, an 8.6% increase in Western metros, and a 7.2% uptick in Southern metros. Some of the metros seeing the highest year-over-year price growth are Cincinnati, Ohio-Ky.-Ind. (+16.9%); Boston-Cambridge-Newton, Mass.-N.H (+16.4%); and Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, Pa,-N.J.-Del.-Md. (+15.6%).
Updated: September 23, 2021