Despite a dip in pending home sales, residential properties continue to go under contract at record-breaking speeds, according to Zillow's latest Weekly Market Report. 
Homes sold in the week ending July 4 were typically on the market for 20 days before a contract to sell was signed. This is one week faster than the pace recorded in the same period last year and it ties the data from the week ending June 26 at the fastest pace since at least 2018, when Zillow began tracking this aspect of housing. Houses sold in a rapid five-day pace in markets including Kansas City; Cincinnati, and Indianapolis.
This occurred while new pending sales were down by 4% from the previous week, the second consecutive weekly decline. Zillow tracked newly pending sales in the nation’s 50 largest metro areas and found the greatest weekly increases in Seattle and Raleigh, North Carolina, (both up by 7.4%) while New Orleans recorded the most substantial weekly decrease, plummeting 21.4%.
Zillow also charted a continued inventory shrinkage, with new for-sale listings down 1.5% from the previous week and down 7.9% year-over-year. The total quantity of for-sale inventory is 22.4% below the same period last year. Among the major 50 metro areas, Baltimore had the most pronounced year-over-year evaporation in total for-sale inventory at 38.8%, followed by Seattle at 38.4% and Connecticut’s capital, Hartford, at 37%
In the midst of this situation, sellers are holding firm on their listing prices. Zillow found that 4.1% of active listings took a price cut last week, compared to 5.6% one year ago. The median list price inched up by 0.5% to $338,760 from the previous week and was up by a more robust 4.3% year-over-year measurement.
As for the homes being made available, Zillow observed more listings of higher-end homes than more-affordable options. For the week ending June 26, new listings of more-affordable homes were down 29% from last year, while there was only a 9% decline from last year to this year for the most expensive listings.
Nonetheless, the increase in the median home prices is not canceling home affordability options for many potential buyers. A separate report recently published by ATTOM Data Solutions  found the median prices of single-family homes and condos in the second quarter were more within financial reach than historical averages in 49% of U.S. counties, up from 31% one year ago. This report noted that when compared with historic levels, 200 of the 406 counties tracked for its report were more affordable during the second quarter, compared with 126 counties in the second quarter of last year.