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Housing Market Shifts From White-Hot to Red-Hot 

RE/MAX’s newest monthly housing report for August 2021 signals a slight cooling in the top 51 markets nationwide, but the market still remains near record highs. 

According to the report, home sales dropped 3.5% month-over-month from July, while the median home price slipped 1.2% to $335,000 in August 

While some metrics did decline, the news was not wholly unexpected—July-to-August averages for 2015-2019 (2020 was omitted due to skewed data related to the pandemic) show a similar trend. The month-over-month median home price typically saw a 1.0% decrease in previous years. 

The report also found that the typical home was on the market for 24 days, and the meager supply of homes meant the market had a 1.3-month supply. 

“The slight seasonal decline in home sales from July to August was countered by this being the second-highest August sales total in the 13-year history of our report,” said RE/MAX President Nick Bailey. “So, although we appear to be past the blistering summer peak, the market is still very active. In fact, the drop in home prices might signal to potential sellers that it’s time to get off the fence in case they fall further, which, in turn, could draw more buyers back into the mix. In any case, it seems likely that the combination of super-quick sales and a severe lack of inventory will be with us for the foreseeable future.”  

Affordability remains a factor for many, as a new report authored by Jacob Channel, Senior Economic Analyst for LendingTree, found that owning a home is less affordable for full-time minimum wage workers than renting one. The study found that, on average, an affordable payment for minimum wage workers is $1,074 less than the median monthly housing costs paid by a homeowner with a mortgage. 

“Though it’s cheaper than owning a home—at least when you’re still paying off a mortgage—renting is unaffordable to minimum wage workers in every state,” Channel said. “Across the nation, the average difference between an affordable monthly housing payment and median gross rent is $533.” 

The five markets with the biggest year-over-year increase in  closed transactions were: 

  • New York, New York with a 55.1% YoY increase 
  • Honolulu, Hawaii with a 37.3% YoY increase 
  • Las Vegas, Nevada with a 12.5% YoY increase 
  • Seattle, Washington with a 10.3% YoY increase 
  • Richmond, Virginia with an 8.1% YoY increase 

The five markets with the biggest year-over-year increase in median sales price was: 

  • Boise, Idaho with a 30.6% YoY increase 
  • Phoenix, Arizona with a 24.9% YoY increase 
  • Salt Lake City, Utah with a 22.3% YoY increase 
  • Billings, Montana with a 21.6% YoY increase 
  • Las Vegas, Nevada with a 21.4% YoY increase 

The five markets with the biggest year-over-year decrease in days a home spends on the market were found in: 

  • Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina with a 63.6% decrease 
  • Las Vegas, Nevada with a 63.3% decrease 
  • Billings, Montana with a 62.7% decrease 
  • Tampa, Florida with a 60.8% decrease 
  • Augusta, Maine with a 60.5% decrease 

The five markets with the biggest year-over-year decrease in months of supply of inventory were: 

  • Albuquerque, New Mexico with a 68.4% decrease 
  • Providence, Rhode Island with a 64.3% decrease 
  • Hartford, Connecticut with a 64.0% decrease 
  • Orlando, Florida with a 57.1% decrease 
  • Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina with a 53.8% decrease 

About Author: Kyle G. Horst

Kyle Horst
Kyle G. Horst is a reporter for DS News and MReport. A graduate of the University of Texas at Tyler, he has worked for a number of daily, weekly, and monthly publications in South Dakota and Texas. With more than 10 years of experience in community journalism, he has won a number of state, national, and international awards for his writing and photography including best newspaper design by the Associated Press Managing Editors Group and the international iPhone photographer of the year by the iPhone Photography Awards. He most recently worked as editor of Community Impact Newspaper covering a number of Dallas-Ft. Worth communities on a hyperlocal level. Contact Kyle G. at kyle.horst@thefivestar.com.
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