Report: 50% Fewer Homes for Sale This Year
March 4, 2021
In Denver, real estate pros are reporting that some listings are seeing more than 100 showings in one weekend and are then receiving more than 20 offers. Buyers are being told to expect going 20% above the list price if they want a home. Markets across the country are reporting the same.
The spring homebuying season is expected to be fierce for house hunters.
Here’s the reason: More than 200,000 new listings have been absent from the U.S. housing market during the first two months of 2021 compared to levels seen over the last four years. Buyer demand is surging and there aren’t enough homes for sale. Inventory woes were common in markets even prior to the pandemic, but they’ve worsened since.
There are nearly 50% fewer homes for sale this year than last year, according to realtor.com®’s newly released Monthly Housing Trends Report.
Extreme winter weather nationwide pushed new listings to a record low in February, and realtor.com® warns it will be difficult to dig out from the low number of sales this spring.
What’s more, home buyers are seeing prices quickly rise. The median listing price in February increased nearly 14% over last year to $353,000.
"Last month's record cold and snowstorms likely caused sellers to hit pause, even if only temporarily," says realtor.com®’s Chief Economist Danielle Hale. "However, in today's inventory-starved market, any setback is significant. Unless we see some big improvements in the new listings trends over the coming months, buyers can expect stiff competition. And unlike last spring, buyers may also face affordability challenges as home prices and mortgage rates increase. Market dynamics continue to favor sellers."
Housing inventories were down annually by the most in metros like Oklahoma City, Okla. (new listings falling 47% annually); Kansas City, Mo.-Kan. (down 45%); Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, Wis. (down 40%).
The following is a chart of the metros with the largest declines in newly listed homes.
Updated: May 14, 2021