February 2021

Will 2020's hot seller's market continue into 2021?

CBSA NameSept. 2019 - Closed Listings Avg DOMSept. 2020 - Closed Listings Avg DOM
National7158
Anaheim-Santa Ana-Irvine CA6964
Boston MA6453
Cambridge-Newton-Framingham MA5546
Camden NJ8861
Chicago-Naperville-Arlington Heights IL5849
Dallas-Plano-Irving TX7263
Detroit-Dearborn-Livonia MI7166
Dutchess County-Putnam County NY11090
Elgin IL6557
Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach-Deerfield Beach FL10696
Fort Worth-Arlington TX6160
Lake County-Kenosha County IL-WI7053
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale CA6053
Miami-Miami Beach-Kendall FL140134
Montgomery County-Bucks County-Chester County PA6252
Nassau County-Suffolk County NY9184
New York-Jersey City-White Plains NY-NJ9882
Newark NJ-PA7951
Oakland-Hayward-Berkeley CA4129
Philadelphia PA7573
Rockingham County-Strafford County NH5037
San Francisco-Redwood City-South San Francisco CA4754
San Rafael CA6060
Seattle-Bellevue-Everett WA4432
Silver Spring-Frederick-Rockville MD5853
Warren-Troy-Farmington Hills MI6050
Washington-Arlington-Alexandria DC-VA-MD-WV5350
West Palm Beach-Boca Raton-Delray Beach FL9691
Wilmington DE-MD-NJ7352

Since last summer, even in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the nation's real estate market has remained warm if not hot. Historically low interest rates, a lack of new construction and an inventory shortage are contributing to fewer Days On Market (DOM) and increased sales.

This is occurring in spite of the fact that the competition over smaller inventories is increasing home prices dramatically. For instance, the national median home price has increased on new listings Year-over-Year (YOY) from September 2019 to September 2020 by $31,000 — from $289,000 to $320,000! This is an unprecedented 10.7% yearly increase, compared to a typical home value annual gain of 3% to 4%.

Where homes are selling fastest

The bar graph above illustrates DOM changes from September 2019 to 2020, YOY, nationally and in a few representative major neighboring metropolitan divisions. In most instances, both the densely populated city central metro areas and their adjacent suburbanized metro divisions experienced decreases in DOM, with only San Francisco deviating from this norm. Consult the table above to see how things have changed across the nation's largest metro areas, including your nearest market. As you'll see, home closings are mostly happening faster in the lower-density outlying areas.

Nationally, to put these changes in a larger perspective, there was a substantial 13-day decline, indicating that homes closed, on average, 18% faster in September 2020.

The current situation

The continued fast-paced, home-selling climate has defied previous fall trends of a seasonal slowdown. Eventually, however, the interaction of various factors will determine how long the current direction will carry on, when it will slow down or even reverse course. The factors at play here include:

  • Migration from cities, as more workers convert to a permanent work-from-home situation
  • A surge of younger, first-time homebuyers
  • The number of boomers cashing in on the equity in their homes and downsizing
  • Homebuyers continuing to take advantage of low interest rates
  • The speed of builders' response to the housing shortage

Whatever the outcome, real estate is a resilient industry that runs through cycles. And even though the present environment has been beset by unexpected forces, we can expect that a new normal will be established sometime, sooner if not later.

1 Corelogic, Inc. (2020). Real Estate Listing Trends data, September 2019-2020. Accessed November 2020.

2 "BLACK KNIGHT REPORTS HOME PRICE GROWTH CONTINUES TO SLOW, FALLING BELOW 25-YEAR AVERAGE FOR FIRST TIME SINCE 2012; AFFORDABILITY AT STRONGEST POINT IN MORE THAN A YEAR," Black Knight Inc., Press Release, June 3, 2019.


MAP3372677 | 12/2020

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