“We are now entering the time of the year when both inventory and demand typically reach their peak as the start of the school year takes away a substantial chunk of near-term demand,” said Jonathan Smoke, chief economist of realtor.com.
Realtor.com's August First Look found that listings inventory grew 3 percent over July. In addition, the median list price increased to $233,000, up 8 percent year over year and virtually flat against July.
According to the data, the shift in favor to buyers is reflected in the median number of days on market, which has increased to 75 days. The number of days on the market is down 6 percent from last year, but the 6 percent increase from the prior month means that inventory is moving slower compared to spring and summer seasons.
“This year we’re seeing inventory continue to grow in August," Smoke said. "And while overall demand is strong, the trend on median days on market is suggesting that the market is finding more of a balance—and that bodes well for would-be buyers who have been frustrated by the inability to find a home to buy this spring and summer."
The company also analyzed listing views by market to determine buyer demand and median days on the market as an indicator of supply. Realtor.com found that the top 20 markets receive 1.8 to 3 times more views per listing compared to the national average. In addition, these markets move inventory 29 to 48 days faster than other U.S. markets and days on the market also declined 13 percent year-over-year.
Smoke also noted that the recent stock market correction could help prospective buyers by keeping mortgage rates low.
“A temporary drop in demand by those negatively affected by stock market instability might be just what strained would-be buyers need to gain the advantage in a market that has given sellers the upper hand so far this year,” Smoke said. "Postponement by the Fed due to the market correction could extend accessibility of attractively low mortgage rates."