September 11, 2020

An Autumn Like No Other

As summer turns to fall, one of the most competitive housing markets in history continues to roll.

As a result of coronavirus pandemic lockdowns, the country lapsed into an economic recession, but you wouldn’t know it by the housing market.

In July, the median home price shot up 8.5% year over year to hit a new all-time high of $349,000 - $27,000 more than last summer.

The supply of available properties is still very low. With mortgage rates hovering near historic lows, demand has increased beyond expectations, fueling some of the hottest competition in decades.

More than 40% of homebuyers between January and May participated in at least one bidding war.

In a typical year, the beginning of fall is a great time to buy, with most shoppers dropping out of the hunt to get ready for the school year and the holidays.

But not in the autumn of 2020. Buyers sidelined by the virus this spring are jockeying with those who planned to buy in the summer. And they're all competing with those who previously had no plans to move: Until the pandemic stirred their desire.

Suburban areas with more square footage and outdoor space are seeing the biggest surge as people focus on spending more time at home. As a result, prices in many affordable areas have moved higher.

Prices will likely continue to grow faster for at least the next few years given this lack of supply, experts say. Prices of the most affordable homes in the U.S. climbed 5.5% from a year earlier during the 12 weeks ending May 31.