Market conditions are tipping toward buyers for the first time in years in cities throughout the U.S. The shift is prompted by a wave of new for-sale listings and slowing home sales, according to new research released today by realtor.com®, the Home of Home Search℠.
The top 10 markets for home buyers include Albany, N.Y.; Chicago; San Antonio; Jacksonville, Fla., Riverside, Calif.; Los Angeles; Providence, R.I.; Dallas; Nashville, Tenn.; and Tampa, Fla.
“The U.S. housing market has largely favored sellers over the last several years as a result of the record-breaking low inventory and red-hot demand that led to intense competition and fast-rising home prices. However, we’re now seeing some metros buck this trend,” according to Danielle Hale, realtor.com®‘s chief economist. “Slowing sales and growing inventories have caused months supply to increase in many markets across the country. These buyer-friendly markets are areas where inventory already outpaces sales relative to other large markets and they are continuing to move in a buyer-friendly direction, but they’re not the only areas trending this way.”
To determine the top markets for buyers, realtor.com® focused its analysis on markets where the pace of sales relative to inventory is below the national average and slowing, inventory of available homes for sale is growing, and sales prices are growing slower than the national average or declining.
Slow Sales Pace Replenishes Housing Inventory
Months supply data, which examines how long inventory would last under the current amount of demand if no more inventory were added, has increased to 5.2 months in these 10 metros, up from 4.5 months this time last year. This means, it would take 5.2 months to completely run out of available homes for sale. In fact, all 10 markets have more than four months of supply and an absorption rate under 25 percent, which translates into less than one home sale per month, for every five homes listed. Meanwhile, months supply in these markets is one month greater than in the top 50 largest U.S. markets, indicating 24 percent more inventory relative to sales in these areas.
Hale added, “These 10 housing markets are already more buyer-friendly when looking at the availability of homes for sale in different markets, however, the mismatch between what’s available and what buyers want has led to lukewarm demand and lackluster sales. As inventory continues to grow in these markets, buyers will see more options, and should ultimately gain more bargaining power.”
Inventory Growth Breaks Double Digits
As demand cools in these top markets for buyers, inventory continues to ramp up. On average, the top markets for buyers are seeing active inventory grow at a rapid 14.6 percent pace, year-over-year, compared to the national growth rate of just 4.0 percent. This paints a completely different picture from the supply constrained conditions that haunted buyers in many areas for so long. Los Angeles, Dallas, and Nashville, which were previously some of the most constrained among these buyer friendly markets, have seen the greatest inventory growth, as each of these markets have increased its active inventory by over 24 percent, year-over-year.
Home Price Growth Hits a Wall
In reaction to the increased inventory and lessened demand, sales price growth has hit a wall in these markets, and one is even seeing home prices decline. On average, sales prices in the 10 markets have grown a miniscule 1.4 percent. This is down dramatically from the 8.4 percent sales price growth seen this time last year, and 6.3 percent growth in 2017. Not coincidentally, lessened demand and pricier inventory have led to an impact on sales, which have declined 5.5 percent on average, year-over-year. In Tampa, home prices have declined year-over-year for the first time since 2012.
Housing Market Game Changers
In Chicago, Los Angeles, and Providence, the housing market slowdown can be traced to economic growth that’s fallen behind the rest of the country and pushed potential buyers to seek career options elsewhere. In these three markets, both household and job creation are lagging behind the U.S. average.
A similar pattern is occurring in Riverside, Tampa, and Jacksonville, where job growth has notably lagged the U.S. average. In Tampa and Jacksonville, the tax reform boosted out-of state buyer activity last year, but the boost has faded as prices rise and perceived value decreases.
In Nashville, Dallas and San Antonio, the relative slowdown can be attributed to the overheating these markets have witnessed. Over the last three years in particular, home price growth in these Southern markets has reached unsustainable levels, exhausting buyers’ budgets and causing the pace of sales to slow dramatically. Since the end of 2015, home prices in the three markets combined have grown notably faster than the U.S. average, up 21 percent, compared to 13 percent nationally during the three year period, respectively. Mid- to low-tier priced homes in particular remain difficult to find, as the median household in these areas are only able to afford just 26 percent, 20 percent, and 21 percent of the available inventory, compared with 36 percent of available inventory being affordable to the median-income household nationwide per the April Realtors(R) Affordability Distribution Curve data.
For more information, please visit: https://www.realtor.com/research/ten-housing-markets-enter-buyer-friendly-territory/