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Off-Season Shoppers Find More Options Amid Sparse Inventory

As the housing market tries to adapt to multiple external influences, the fall housing market is offering off-season shoppers more options this fall comparatively to 2021, as inventory increased 26.9% over the year according to the Monthly Housing Trends Report published by Realtor.com. 

In addition, the report also found yearly listing price growth firmly remained in double-digit territory at 13.9%, its upward ascent is containing to moderate, therefore suggesting to Realtor.com that a rise in “relatively affordable” homes could be in store for buyers by the end of the year. 

The current median listing price is $427,000, off from the peak of $449,000, which resulted in an average growth rate of 18.2%. 

"Home prices have been remarkably resilient so far this year, considering the impact that inflation and climbing rates are having on buyers' budgets. Recent data does show some deceleration in listing prices, and a seasonal pull back that is typical of this time of year. On the flip side, this cooling is likely one reason why fewer sellers entered the market in September," said Danielle Hale, Chief Economist for Realtor.com. "For homeowners deciding whether to make a move this year, remember that listing prices—while lower than a few months ago—remain higher than in prior years, so you're still likely to find opportunities to cash-in on record-high levels of equity, particularly if you've owned your home for a longer period of time. And for prospective buyers grappling with affordability, you may have more bargaining power than you realize, particularly in areas where time on market is rising." 

Inventory in September remained higher than it was last year, but improvements failed to accelerate over last month as newly listed homes numbers dropped. As mortgage rates eclipse 6.7%, demand drops resulting in fewer home sales. 

Still, today's buyers have significantly more options than during the worst of the inventory crunch of the previous two years. This is especially true in many southern and western markets, where competition has cooled compared to the COVID frenzy. 

The current median-priced home spent 50 days on the market in September, up seven days from last year. This compares to a historical September average of 32 days. 

Other top-level data from the report as highlighted by Realtor.com include: 

  • Nationally, the inventory of homes actively for sale on a typical day in September increased 26.9% (+155,000) year-over-year, holding on par with the August pace (+26.9%). Newly-listed homes were down 9.8% year-over-year, a slight improvement over last month's rate of decline (-13.0%). 
  • Compared to last year, inventory increased in 36 out of 50 of the largest metros, led by markets in the West (+64.2%) and South (+57.5%): Phoenix (+167.3%), Raleigh, N.C. (+166.1) and Nashville, Tenn. (+125.3%). 
  • In September, active listings dropped year-over-year in just one region, the Northeast (-6.0%). New listings declined from September 2021 levels in all four regions, led by the Northeast (-17.2%) and followed by the Midwest (-14.0%), West (-12.2%) and South (-3.9%). 
  • Among the 50 largest U.S. metros, just eight saw the number of new sellers increase over September 2021 levels: New Orleans (+119.3% as last year was impacted by Hurricane Ida), Nashville. (+19.6%), Tampa, Fla. (+9.2%), Dallas (+9.1%), Birmingham, Ala. (+6.1%), Houston (+3.6%), San Antonio (+2.9%) and Raleigh (+2.0%). 
  • Nationally, the share of homes having their price reduced grew to 19.5% from 11.0% last September, and also climbed higher than typical 2017 and 2019 levels (18.7%). 
  • Among the 50 largest U.S. metros, southern and midwestern markets (+11.8%, on average) led the charge in yearly listing price growth in September, with the biggest increases registered in Miami (+28.3%), Memphis, Tenn. (+27.3%), and Milwaukee (+27.0%). Listing prices declined in just two markets: New Orleans (-2.3%) and Pittsburgh (-0.8%). 
  • Western metros posted the biggest gains in the share of listings with price reductions, led by Phoenix (+32.3 percentage points), Austin, Texas (+27.4 percentage points) and Las Vegas(+20.0 percentage points). 
  • Homes spent longer on the market than last year across regions: The West, up 10 days; the South, up six days; the Northeast, up five days; and the Midwest, up five days. 
  • Relative to the national pace, time on market slowed similarly across the 50 largest U.S. metros, on average, up seven days year-over-year to a median of 43 days. Among these markets, the biggest yearly time on market increases were in Austin (+23 days), Raleigh (+23 days), Phoenix (+17 days) and Las Vegas (+17 days). 
  • In September, homes sold more quickly than last year in just five metros: New Orleans (-9 days, again reflecting the impact of Hurricane Ida last year), Richmond, Va. (-6 days), Miami (-2 days), Atlanta (-1 days) and Houston (-1 day). 

Click here to view the report which includes breakdowns of the top-50 metropolitan areas. 

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. 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 [email protected]

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