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  • Realtor.com: Housing Market Turned Around in May

    By Kerry SmithBased on realtor.com data, a drop in listings turned around in May as median prices hit an all-time high of $330,000. In the 50 largest metros, inventory was down 21.9% – but less in four Fla. cities, where it ranged from 8.6% (Orlando metro) to 19.3% (Tampa metro).

    SANTA CLARA, Calif. – The U.S. housing market likely reached its low point during mid-April with constrained new inventory and minimal price growth, according to realtor.com’s May Monthly Housing Trends. Signs of recovery emerged in late April and strengthened in May, setting the stage for continued growth over the summer.

    Overall, home prices never seemed at risk during the nation’s lockdown, according to realtor.com’s data. In fact, realtor.com’s median listing price hit a new all-time high of $330,000 in May, despite rising just 1.6% year-over-year. April’s 0.6% year-over-year growth, while still positive, was the slowest pace in the past three years.

    New listings were down 29.1% the week ending May 9 but only down 22.9% by the week of May 30 – a notable improvement from the month before that saw a drop of 44.1%.

    Despite positive trends, COVID-related challenges linger, though. Realtor.com reports that homes were on the market 15 days longer than this time last year.

    “May’s home price data demonstrate the underlying strength of the U.S. housing market despite the challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic,” says realtor.com Chief Economist Danielle Hale. “The fact that home prices are at an all-time high shows that the momentum the market had prior to the pandemic has helped to keep buyer and seller expectations stable. Ongoing inventory shortages that continue to worsen also push home prices higher even while homes sell more slowly.”

    Hale predicts a “shortened but strong summer home selling season, as long as seller confidence continues to improve and more homes are listed for sale.”

    Florida metro areas

    May’s inventory rate fell 21.9% year-over-year in the top 50 cities listed by realtor.com – but while the four Florida cities cited in the study also saw an inventory drop, none were as harsh at the national average:

    • In Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, inventory listed on realtor.com was down only 8.6% in May and list prices were unchanged
    • In Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, listings were down 10.1% and asking prices down 2.2%
    • In Jacksonville, inventory was down 11.4% in May, while list prices were down 1.9%
    • In Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, listings dropped 19.3% while asking prices were up 1.8%
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