Peak Home Buying Season Shifts from May to August This Year

6 08 2020

recoveryindexThe U.S. real estate market is now doing better than it did before the pandemic, with the Recovery Index hitting 103.8 compared to a back-to-normal score of 100. Two Central Florida metros have fully recovered as South Florida and Jacksonville move closer.

Home buying season’s usual May peak has shifted to August as buyers and sellers rebound from spring’s COVID disruption, according to Realtor.com’s Weekly Recovery Report. This week’s data shows growth in pace of sales, demand and prices have surpassed last year levels, while inventory continues to lag seasonal normals.

Realtor.com’s Housing Market Recovery Index reached 103.8 nationwide for the week ending Aug. 1, posting a 0.1 point increase over last week and bringing the index 3.8 points above the pre-COVID baseline.

According to the weekly survey, the New York-Newark-Jersey City metro area has seen the strongest rebound. It ranked first with a recovery index of 129.6, a weekly increase of 9.6 points. The Wisconsin metro area of Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis ranked last as No. 50 with an index score of 89.2 – a weekly drop of 1.5 points.

In Florida, two cities rose about the old-normal score of 100 this week, while two other cities remained slightly below:

  • The Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford metro area ranked No. 22 with a score of 102.5 – a weekly increase of 9.6
  • The Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater metro area ranked No. 25 with a score of 102.2 – a weekly increase of 1.2
  • The Jacksonville area was No. 34 with a score of 99.3 – a 3.4 weekly increase
  • The Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach metro area ranked No. 41 with a score of 96.8, a 0.2 weekly increase

“Real estate activity in the U.S. has regained its strength and continues on an upward trajectory as we enter the middle of the summer,” says Javier Vivas, director of economic research for realtor.com.

Vivas says the unusually robust summer selling season is making up for weakness in the spring, but current patterns will have to last 10 more weeks to “make up for the lost activity in the second quarter of the year. As we head into fall, an anticipated resurgence in COVID cases and economic aftershocks are likely to create an uphill battle for home buyers and sellers.”

  • Time on market is now 4 days faster than last year – a result of too few homes for sale and mortgage rates at or near-record lows.
  • Median listing prices grew 9.4% year-to-year, and the rate of home price increases continues to pick up speed. The report calls the price rise “perhaps the most surprising aspect of how the housing market has fared – a dramatic departure from the last time unemployment was in double-digit territory.”
  • New listings dropped 11%, and a gradual improvement in the number of new sellers listing homes took a pause despite continued price gains.
  • Total inventory advertised on realtor.com declined 35%.
  • Regionally, the West (110.5) continues to lead the pack in the recovery, with the overall index now visibly above the pre-COVID benchmark. The Northeast (108.2) remains above recovery pace and continues to improve, while the South (99.5) and Midwest (98.8) continue to lag. A total of 29 markets have crossed the recovery benchmark.

The Weekly Housing Index leverages a weighted average of realtor.com search traffic, median list prices, new listings, and median time on market and compares it to the January 2020 market trend, as a baseline for pre-COVID market growth. The overall index is set to 100. The higher a market’s index value, the higher its recovery.

Top 50 Metros Recovery Index

Rank Metro Recovery Index

(Week Ending 7/25)

Recovery Index
(Weekly Change)
1 New York-Newark-Jersey City, N.Y.-N.J.-Pa. 129.6 9.6
2 Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, Nev. 117.1 1.3
3 Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, Wash. 115.5 -1.3
4 Boston-Cambridge-Newton, Mass.-N.H. 115.2 -4.2
5 Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, Pa.-N.J.-Del.-Md. 115.2 0.6
6 Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, Colo. 115.0 0.6
7 Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, Calif. 114.1 0.5
8 San Diego-Carlsbad, Calif. 111.9 2.8
9 San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, Calif. 110.6 -0.2
10 San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, Calif. 110.1 -3.3
11 Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-Va.-Md.-W. Va. 109.0 0.6
12 Austin-Round Rock, Texas 108.5 -0.8
13 Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, Ariz. 108.3 -1.2
14 Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, Ore.-Wash. 107.3 0.7
15 Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, Md. 107.0 2.9
16 Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, Va.-N.C. 106.6 2.0
17 Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, Calif. 106.1 0.8
18 Pittsburgh, Pa. 105.6 1.9
19 Cincinnati, Ohio-Ky.-Ind. 105.2 4.8
20 Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford, Conn. 104.1 -0.8
21 Providence-Warwick, R.I.-Mass. 103.3 -0.6
22 Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, Fla. 102.5 1.2
23 Rochester, N.Y. 102.4 -2.8
24 Raleigh, N.C. 102.3 3.4
25 Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, Fla. 102.2 0.4
26 Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, N.C.-S.C. 101.4 0.0
27 Kansas City, Mo.-Kan. 101.0 -0.5
28 San Antonio-New Braunfels, Texas 100.9 0.5
29 Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, Texas 100.2 0.2
30 Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, Minn.-Wis. 99.7 -1.7
31 Sacramento–Roseville–Arden-Arcade, Calif. 99.6 0.2
32 Nashville-Davidson–Murfreesboro–Franklin, Tenn. 99.6 0.7
33 St. Louis, Mo.-Ill. 99.5 1.3
34 Jacksonville, Fla. 99.3 3.4
35 Memphis, Tenn.-Miss.-Ark. 99.2 0.6
36 Cleveland-Elyria, Ohio 99.1 -3.9
37 Louisville/Jefferson County, Ky.-Ind. 99.0 -0.1
38 Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, Ga. 98.8 1.0
39 Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, Texas 98.3 -1.4
40 Detroit-Warren-Dearborn, Mich 97.9 2.0
41 Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, Fla. 96.8 0.2
42 Buffalo-Cheektowaga-Niagara Falls, N.Y. 96.4 -1.7
43 Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, Ill.-Ind.-Wis. 95.4 -1.9
44 New Orleans-Metairie, La. 94.4 -3.1
45 Birmingham-Hoover, Ala. 94.3 -0.4
46 Columbus, Ohio 92.8 -1.2
47 Richmond, Va. 92.2 -2.5
48 Indianapolis-Carmel-Anderson, Ind. 92.0 0.5
49 Oklahoma City, Okla. 91.4 -3.3
50 Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, Wis. 89.2

-1.5

Source: Florida Realtors


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