‘Lopsided Recovery’ Still Causing Housing Market Hurdles

Buyers not only have fewer homes to choose from, but they need to act fast to succeed.

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The housing market largely outperformed the rest of the economy throughout 2020. But the housing market’s recovery still remains more “lopsided than ever as the gap between buyer demand and supply widens,” according to a newly released report from realtor.com® about the pandemic’s impact on the housing market over the past year.

New listings remain well-below the pre-COVID-19 baseline. However, the housing market overall in sales is performing above pre-pandemic levels, according to realtor.com®’s Housing Market Recovery Index.

“The housing market bounced back so much faster than other sectors of the economy that many have forgotten that housing activity slowed to a crawl during the early days of the pandemic,” says Danielle Hale, realtor.com®’s chief economist. “One year later, the demand for housing remains strong, while supply remains limited.”

Realtor.com® reports there are 50% fewer homes available for sale now than a year ago. The homes that are on the market are selling quickly. During the week ending March 6, homes sold, on average, six days faster than a year ago. “Buyers not only have fewer homes to choose from, they need to act fast to succeed,” realtor.com® notes in its report.

But Hale cautions a turn may be ahead for the housing market. “We expect the vaccine’s rollout to alleviate some sellers’ anxieties, which could help the supply crunch,” she notes. “At the same time, although interest rates remain low, they’ve begun to increase, which could test buyer demand in the coming months.”

Source: realtor.com®