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Buyers Continue to Enter the Market Despite Inventory Shortage

The bidding wars may continue into the fall, according to data from realtor.com®’s Weekly Recovery Report for the week ending Aug. 22.

The week reached a 106.6 Housing Market Recovery Index—a 1.8-point increase over last week and 6.6. points above the pre-COVID baseline of January 2020. Data shows that buyers are still out in full force despite a continuing shortage of inventory that’s driving prices upward. According to realtor.com®, national inventory is down 37 percent year-over-year, and home prices have been rising for 15 consecutive weeks.

“There’s a record level of buyers competing in the housing market right now,” said Javier Vivas, director of economic research for realtor.com®. “In a typical year, buyer-seller activity would be dwindling down heading into Labor Day, but 2020 has been nothing short of abnormal. It may be late August, but we’re in the thick of the home-buying season, with busy open houses, multiple offers and even bidding wars becoming the common theme in many markets. First-time home buyers face the biggest hurdles and have to lean on financing to keep their homeownership dreams alive.”

As buyers jump at the chance to win bids and secure low mortgage interest rates, homes are flying off the market—going pending 9 days faster year-over-year. The median listing prices of homes on a national level has increased by 10.3 percent year-over-year, driven by a shortage of inventory; new listings are down 13 percent YoY.