School’s out, and as vaccination rates rise and America enters a new normal, the U.S. housing market continues along at a frenzied pace, with low-interest rates and limited inventory fueling record-high sales prices. May saw the median existing-home sales price exceed $350,000, a 24% increase and the largest year-over-year increase since 1999, according to the National Association of REALTORS®. Eager buyers are making multiple offers, some for well over the asking price, while others are making offers on homes sight unseen.
New Listings decreased 3.3 percent for single-family homes but increased 27.1 percent for townhouse-condo properties. Pending Sales decreased 4.6 percent for single-family homes and 8.9 percent for townhouse-condo properties. Inventory decreased 43.9 percent for single-family homes and 34.0 percent for townhouse-condo properties.
The Median Sales Price was up 18.5 percent to $385,000 for single-family homes and 10.3 percent to $290,000 for townhouse-condo properties. Days on Market decreased 61.3 percent for single-family homes and 34.8 percent for townhouse-condo properties. Months Supply of Inventory decreased 51.7 percent for single-family homes and 41.2 percent for townhouse-condo properties.
The increase in sales prices comes with a slight decline in existing home sales nationwide, as homebuyers struggle with declining affordability amid a lack of inventory, forcing some buyers to simply wait it out in hopes of more inventory and less competition. Meanwhile, home builders are trying to meet the increased market demand, with housing starts up 3.6% in May from April, according to the Commerce Department. As we ease into new routines and look forward to a post-pandemic future, one thing remains certain: America desperately needs more homes.