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Surging Home Prices Are Set for a Cooldown

June 3, 2021

The U.S. median home price continued to post double-digit appreciation in May and reached a record high of $380,000, realtor.com® reports. But the rate of price growth has shown signs of slowing for the second time in 13 months (15.2% year-over-year in May compared to 17.2% annually in April), realtor.com®’s Monthly Housing Trends Report shows.

Prices have been rising due to high buyer demand and a lack of inventory. Inventories are less than half the total number of homes for sale on the market compared to a year ago.

“Home buyers looking to lock in still-low mortgage rates face fierce competition for fewer homes for sale than last year’s historic pandemic lows, pushing up the typical asking price in May to an all-time high for the fourth consecutive month,” said Danielle Hale, realtor.com®’s chief economist. “The good news is that price momentum may be beginning to cool off.”

“While still in double-digits, May was the first non-weather related slowing in price appreciation since April 2020,” Hale added. “And with a normal, summer seasonal peak in home prices expected this year, we could see growth fall back to a more normal single-digit pace in the fall.”

Larger metros may post a slowdown sooner than other markets. The largest metros, for example, reported lower annual price gains than the national rate and also had some of the largest numbers of new homes added to the market, realtor.com® reported. The nation’s 50 largest metros had a 12.4% increase in new listings compared to a year ago. The largest gains were in Buffalo, N.Y. (up 64.3%); Philadelphia (up 52.5%); and Washington, D.C. (up 48.9%).

Overall, among the 50 largest U.S. metros, the largest list price increases in May occurred in Austin, Texas (+32.2%); Riverside, Calif. (+21.5%); and Las Vegas (+18.5%).

A chart of the median home listing prices for the 50 largest metros in the U.S.

 

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