Coronavirus restrictions brought the U.S. housing market to a near standstill. Now it’s beginning to recover, if unevenly, as states enact their reopening plans, according to a report by Realtor.com.
The report compiles a “recovery index,” combining several market metrics and comparing the results through July 11 with January 2020 levels. These include growth in online search activity and new listings, as well as asking prices and time on market. While the index doesn’t measure the number of completed sales, promising gains in inquiries and prices are spurring optimism and raising values in several major markets.
Overall, the recovery index showed these metrics to be approaching pre-pandemic levels, though the gains are not equal across the country. States in the West and Northeast are showing the greatest growth, while those the South and Midwest — now suffering a heavy wave of Covid-19 infections, along with the restrictions and economic uncertainty that come with them — are lagging.
In total, 18 of the 50 largest U.S. markets have reached or even surpassed January levels of market activity. A seller’s market, brought about by a shortage of listings, record-low interest rates and a release of pent-up demand after the shutdowns, is fueling the recovery. Eager house hunters, equipped with increased buying power driven by the low interest rates, are producing quick sales and higher prices — which means hopeful buyers are facing lots of competition.
This week’s chart shows the markets in the 50 largest metropolitan areas that have shown the greatest and slowest recovery as of July 11, according to Realtor.com’s index.
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