May 2023 Housing Market Trends Report – News

According to®’s May housing data, growth in the inventory of homes actively for sale has slowed and is declining in many metropolitan areas across the country as sellers continue to list fewer homes than last year and buyers compete over the remaining affordable homes for sale. While the median asking price for a home is growing seasonally, listing prices remained about the same as late last spring and this year’s median list price may not reach the previous year’s peak for the first time in our data. Additionally, the median listing on a price per square foot basis declined compared to the previous year for the first time in our data’s history (since 2016). Nevertheless, as projected in our 2023 Housing Forecast, home buying costs haven’t come down. The monthly mortgage payments required to purchase a typical home remain higher than last year due to elevated mortgage rates, which continue to provide headwinds to buyers despite stalling listing prices and declining sale prices. 
Home Inventories Tighten in Many Areas Across the Country
There were 21.5% more homes for sale in May compared to the same time in 2022. This means that there were 103,000 more homes available to buy on a typical day this past month compared to one year ago. However, the inventory growth rate for homes actively for sale continued to slow for the third month in a row as fewer potential sellers opted to list their home and as the market lapped the period of higher inventory growth that started in May of last year. Despite recent year-over-year active inventory growth, there were still fewer homes available to buy on a typical day in May than there were a few years ago. 
Active Home Listing Inventory
The total number of homes for sale, including homes that were under contract but not yet sold, decreased by 0.2% compared to last year. This is much changed from last month’s 6.2% growth rate as fewer potential sellers listed homes. This is also the first time total listings have declined on a year-over-year basis since June of last year.   
Total Home Listing Count
The number of homes under contract (pending listings) declined by 18.1% compared to the same time last year. This is slightly lower than April’s 22.5% decline and much improved from December’s peak decline (-36.9% year-over-year).The stabilization and improvement in pending home sales could suggest that the number of home sale transactions has bottomed out and is making a slow and bumpy recovery. In April, while existing home sales dipped, they remained convincingly above the 4 million sales low reached in January.
Pending Home Listing Count
In April, home selling sentiment as measured by Fannie Mae’s Home Purchase Sentiment Index (HPSI), improved. The net share of survey respondents who said now is a good time to sell increased by 5 percentage points compared to the previous month. However, the measure is still 28 percentage points lower than the prior year. This more positive seller sentiment has yet to translate to more newly listed homes. In May, the number of homes newly-listed for sale declined by 22.7% compared to the same time last year. This was a slightly higher rate of decline than April’s 21.3% decrease and new listings remained 29.4% below pre-pandemic 2017 to 2019 levels. In fact, the pace of home listings is even lower than in May 2020 when the real estate market was still contending with pandemic-era closures and restrictions.
Newly Listed Home Count
The number of homes for sale in the 50 largest metro areas in the U.S. increased by 20.8% compared to last year and inventory in this group of metro areas as a whole is still 46.4% below pre-pandemic levels. Among larger metros, inventory growth is currently driven almost exclusively by the South. The Southern region saw the most growth in the number of homes for sale, with a 54.4% increase compared to last May. However, home inventory in the South was still 40.9% below pre-pandemic levels. Large metros in other regions saw slower or declining annual growth in active inventory. In the Midwest, inventory grew by only 1.5% year-over-year and it was down 54.6% compared to pre-pandemic levels. In the West, large metro inventory declined by 5.2% compared to last year and it was 37.0% below pre-pandemic levels. Inventory declined by 8.5% year-over-year in the Northeast where it was 61.6% below pre-pandemic levels. 
No regions saw an improvement in sellers listing homes for sale in May. The South saw listing activity decline least, with newly listed homes down by 20.4% compared to the previous year, while they declined by 32.9% in the West, 22.9% in the Northeast, and 22.8% in the Midwest. In all regions newly-listed homes remained well below the typical levels seen in 2017 to 2019. 
Inventory decreased in 21 out of 50 of the largest metros compared to last year. However, metros which did see inventory growth included southern metros such as Nashville (+124.7%), Austin (+112.5%), and San Antonio (+93.4%). However, despite high inventory growth compared to last year, most southern metros still had a lower level of inventory when compared to pre-pandemic years. In fact, only Austin (+2.8%) saw higher levels of inventory in May compared to typical 2017 to 2019 levels. 
In May, none of the 50 largest metro areas saw new listings increase over the previous year. Markets which reported large yearly declines included primarily large western metros such as Seattle (-40.7%), Phoenix (-40.6%), and San Jose (-37.4%). 
Homes Are Spending More Time on the Market Than Last Year
The typical home spent 43 days on the market this May which is two weeks longer than the same time last year but homes still spent 9 fewer days on the market this May than they did in the average May from 2017 to 2019. 
In the 50 largest metropolitan areas in the United States, the typical home spent 37 days on the market, 13 days more than the previous May. This trend was seen across all regions, with larger metros in the South seeing the greatest increase (+16 days), followed by the West (+12 days), Midwest (+9 days) and Northeast (+7 days). Homes in Western metros were also spending 3 more days on the market than pre-pandemic times, but in all other regions homes were still selling more quickly.
All of the 50 largest metros saw an increase in time on market compared to the previous year. Time on market increased the most in Raleigh (+31 days), Austin (+28 days), and Miami (+27 days). Ten predominantly western markets saw homes spend more time on the market than typical 2017 to 2019 timing. Seattle (+10 days), Kansas City (+9 days), and San Francisco (+8 days), saw the greatest increase in time on market compared to average 2017 to 2019 pacing.
Home Listing Time on Market
Listing Price Growth Slows to a Halt
The national median list price grew to $441,000 in May, up from $430,000 in April. However, it was still down from a record high of $449,000 in June of last year (-2.0%) and based on current trends, it’s possible that it won’t hit the previous year’s peak for the first time in our data. This median list price represented a yearly growth rate of only 0.9%, which is lower than April’s 2.5% growth rate and is the lowest price growth in our records (since 2016). In May, the median listing price on a square foot basis declined compared to last year for the first time in our data, by 0.3%. Meanwhile, the national median sale price shrank on an annual basis for the third month in a row in April.
Higher mortgage rates and home prices compared to May of last year increased the monthly cost of financing 80% of the typical home by roughly $28096 (+15.5%) compared to a year ago. This far outpaces recent rent growth (+0.3%) and inflation (+4.9%) but the rate of growth is slowing compared to last month’s 19.0% figure as growth in listing prices and interest rates slowed.
Median Home Listing Price
The percentage of homes with price reductions increased from 10.2% in May of last year to 12.7% this year. This share of price reductions, while much higher than last year, has been below typical levels seen in 2017 to 2019 since February. While sellers are having to adjust their expectations at greater rates than last year, there isn’t a greater mismatch than is typically expected.  
Home Listing Price Reduced Share
In the largest metropolitan areas in the country, the combined annual median list price growth rate for active listings was 5.0%, outpacing the national rate. Northeastern metros had the highest growth rate in active listing prices, with an average increase of 11.1% over the past year. Prices in Cincinnati (+19.9%), Rochester (+19.2%), and Hartford (+17.2%) saw the biggest increases among large metros. However, in each of these metros the mix of inventory changed as larger and more expensive homes were listed for sale in May compared to the previous year. On a price-per-square-foot basis, listing prices only grew by 8.2% in Cincinnati, 13.1% in Rochester, and 4.9% in Hartford. Thirteen out of the largest 50 markets saw their median list price decline. The greatest price declines were seen in Austin (-7.3% year-over-year), Houston (-5.9%), and San Antonio (-5.8%). 
Large southern metros saw the largest increase in the percentage of homes with price reductions (+4.9 percentage points), followed by large midwestern metros (+1.8 percentage points). Austin (+11.9 percentage points), San Antonio (+9.1 percentage points) and Oklahoma City (+8.7 percentage points) had the largest increases in the percentage of homes with price reductions compared to last year. 
May 2023 Regional Statistics (50 Largest Metro Combined Average)
May 2023 Regional Statistics vs Pre-Pandemic 2017-2019 (50 Largest Metro Combined Average)
May 2023 Housing Overview by Top 50 Largest Metros 
*Some Las Vegas listing metrics have been excluded while data is under review.
Note: With the release of its May 2023 Housing Report,® incorporated a new and improved methodology for capturing and reporting housing inventory trends and metrics. As a result of these changes, this release is not directly comparable with previous data releases and reports. However, future data releases, including historical data, will consistently apply the new methodology. 

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