Realtor.com Sees Record-Breaking Traffic As Buyer Demand Grows

Real Estate

It may be the lazy days of summer, but it feels like spring in the housing market — and not a moment too soon — as median home prices are surging. 

As buyers flooded into the market, realtor.com’s monthly traffic hit an all-time high of 86 million unique users in June, breaking May’s record of 85 million unique users. Realtor.com daily traffic also hit its highest level of 7 million unique users on June 25, signaling that buyers are ready to dip their toes into the market despite the global pandemic.

The Housing Market Recovery Index reached 97.8 nationwide for the week ending July 4, posting the largest weekly increase since the index was introduced in June. 

Median listing prices continue growing at 6.2 percent over last year, faster than the pre-COVID pace. But with demand strong and for-sale inventory tight, supply remains the biggest factor slowing the recovery. Total listings remain 31% lower than last year and more listings will need to enter the market for sustained improvement in home sales, according to realtor.com. 

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The number of homes for sale dropped over last week again, although new listings are improving. More home buyers are taking advantage of low mortgage rates and putting a dent in inventory. 

“The consistent, record-level home buyer interest we’ve detected on realtor.com over the last five weeks is setting up the tightest summer home buying season on record,” said Javier Vivas, director of economic research for realtor.com.

“All-time low mortgage rates and easing job losses have boosted buyer confidence back to pre-pandemic levels,” he added. “With supply at record lows , the backlog of demand portends increased competition and a seller’s market in the weeks ahead. While buyers are back, growth in home sales this summer will be constrained by the slow return of sellers and the limited amount of homes hitting the market.”

Fourth of July celebrations falling on a weekend instead of midweek boosted the pace of new listings. Realtor.com expects the improvement to return to last week’s level next week. More sellers will need to enter the market to see sustained improvement this summer.

The West continues to lead the recovery with the overall index now visibly above the pre-COVID benchmark. The Northeast (index 102.1) also surpassed the recovery baseline last week, and continues to improve. The South (index 96.4) and Midwest (index 95.4) are still lagging but are now back on a steady recovery path. 

The overall Housing Market Recovery Index is showing the greatest recovery in Boston, San Francisco, Denver, Philadelphia and Los Angeles, making each of those cities a seller’s market. The strong demand and pace of sales is surpassing pre-pandemic benchmarks.

Time on the market is now just three days slower than last year as the inventory shortage forces buyers to make faster decisions than in the early pandemic period.

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