The supply of for-sale homes hit its highest point of the year in September but still follows the long road to a balanced market.
The month had a total of 646,854 active listings, down 22.2% from Sept. 2020 but an improvement from August’s 641,000 and that month’s 25.8% year-over-year decrease, according to Realtor.com. However, new listings fell annually for the first time in five months, dropping 3.9%. That dichotomy represents a possible turning point for home buyers going forward, said the company’s Chief Economist Danielle Hale.
“Next month's data will yield important clues about whether this setback is going to be temporary or a new trend," Hale said in the report. “This September, buyers had more options than they've had all year and while they may have an easier time this fall than they did in the spring, the market remains more competitive than it has been historically.”
Competition is tough between investors and consumers but bidding wars are continuing to decrease from the year’s historical heights. The average time on market fell to 43 days, down from 54 a year earlier but up from 39 in August.
Among the top 50 housing markets, three bucked the country’s overall trend in September and saw annual growth in active listings. The Washington, D.C. metro area’s listing count shot up 17.8% year-over-year, outpacing gains of 4.1% in Milwaukee and 1.6% in Philadelphia. Hartford, Conn., had the largest annual drop in active for-sale housing supply with 56.5%, followed by decreases of 53.1% in Raleigh, N.C., and 46.6% in Miami.
Nearly a third of the largest markets had an annual influx of new listings. Austin, Texas, led them all with a 19.9% gain. It narrowly bested jumps of 16.3% in Portland, Ore., and 15.1% in Jacksonville, Fla. New Orleans saw the sharpest decline, as new listings plummeted 51.2% from Sept. 2020. Hartford and Miami trailed with decreases of 22.4% and 14.5%, respectively.