Sellers Are Calling the Shots, But for How Much Longer?

Two housing indicators this week suggest an approaching change in the market.

The housing market continues to outperform historical standards as prices accelerate to new highs and homes sell faster, according to®’s latest Weekly Recovery Report. “Sellers are calling the shots in today’s market,” says Danielle Hale,®’s chief economist. “Prices are rising and housing inventory is vanishing almost as fast as it appears.”

However, Hale points to two housing indicators that may hint at a turn in the market. Housing demand from buyers has cooled slightly, while new listings showed a smaller decline than previous weeks, Hale says. “This could be a hiccup in weekly activity, or, if these trends continue, they could signal a shift in market dynamics leading into the fall when political, economic, and health-related uncertainties abound,” she says.®’s Housing Market Index reached a reading of 107.7 for the week ending Sept. 5. That’s 7.7 points higher than its pre-COVID-19 baseline in January. Buyer demand dropped 3.3 points since last week, and inventory showed improvement, rising 3.2 points higher—though it still remains below its pre-COVID-19 baseline.

Meanwhile, home prices continue to escalate. Median listing prices are up 10.8% annually, which is the fastest pace of growth in more than two years,® reports. Time on the market is now 12 fewer days than a year ago. “Buyers are moving much faster than this time last year to beat out competition and lock in low mortgage rates,”® reports. “This means homes are sitting on the market for much less time, despite notably higher price tags.”