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RE Rebound Report: ‘Housing Market Has Recovered

A realtor.com index created to gauge the market’s return during the pandemic calls it a “significant milestone” – but the threat from too-few listings continues.

SANTA CLARA, Calif. – While the COVID-19 pandemic sparked a U.S. recession, that economic drop isn’t reflected in the U.S. Housing Market, according to an index created by realtor.com to gauge how quickly the industry returned to levels equivalent to early 2020.

The Housing Recovery Index finds a full recovery and return to January 2020 growth levels for the week ending July 18. Some U.S. cities are even doing better than expected, though four Florida cities listed in the index are just shy of a full return.

However, a pandemic-based recession doesn’t follow most economic patterns, and the report’s authors say the industry needs to see a few more months of sustained growth and a significant increase in new listings to make up for lost ground.

An index score of 100 is considered a complete return to pre-pandemic market conditions, and for the first time since March 2020, the realtor.com Housing Recovery Index hit 101.0 points, surpassing its pre-COVID recovery benchmark. It increased 2.5% over the previous week.

“Housing remains a must-have during COVID times, and home sales have proven to flourish even under record low levels of supply,” says Javier Vivas, director of economic research for realtor.com. “The spring season disruptions have given an artificial boost to the summer homebuying season. The real question will be whether the market will be able to sustain that pace through the rest of the summer and going into the fall.”

Regionally, the Northeast (106.3) overtook all regions and now leads the recovery. The West (105.5) remains above recovery pace, while the South (97.9) and Midwest (97.3) are still below recovery but regaining momentum.

New listings were down 15% year-over-year. While listing inventory growth continues, it’s not happening fast enough for hungry buyers. Total inventory was down 33% year-to-year.

Median listing prices for homes advertised on realtor.com grew 9.1% year-to-year – faster than they did before the pandemic settled in.

Florida metro areas recovery index

  • Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater: 99.1 on the recovery index, 0% week-to-week change
  • Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford: 97.7 on the index, up 0.4% week-to-week
  • Jacksonville: 96.5 on the index, down 1% week-to-week
  • Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach: 93.4 on the index, down 1% week-to-week

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