White-Hot Real Estate Market Starting to Cool

The housing frenzy brought on by the pandemic is easing up, with slower growth of median home prices and fewer offers.

August 20, 2021, 7:00 AM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

San Francisco Houses

Jorg Hackemann / Shutterstock

The "frenzied real estate market" of the pandemic era is starting to cool off, writes Candace Jackson, "perhaps a sign that the wild price appreciations of the past year may have scared off some buyers who prefer to wait until things calm down, to stay put or to continue renting." Median home prices stayed at $385,000 nationwide between June and July, "up 10.3 percent from last year at this time, according to the latest data from Realtor.com. It’s slower growth than the 12.7 percent increase in June 2021, and it marks the third month in a row in which the year-over-year gains have slowed."

"In 2020, the market came to a near standstill after Covid lockdowns hit in early spring — typically the busiest home buying season of the year. But it roared back to life during the summer, with people upgrading to larger homes or leaving cities for suburbia, even as inventory fell steeply across the country." This year, "[t]he most dramatic price appreciation happened in Western states and in suburban and exurban areas where buyers are looking for larger, single-family houses and relatively affordable prices."

Homes are also receiving fewer offers–two to ten as opposed to 30 to 40 in the spring–and taking slightly longer to sell.

Friday, August 13, 2021 in New York Times

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