Housing Market Recovers In Face Of Pandemic, Unrest

In an attempt to measure housing’s comeback from the coronavirus pandemic, realtor.com created the Housing Recovery Index – with the initial report showing the U.S. housing market is recovering even in the face of COVID and civil unrest across the country.

The report uses realtor.com search traffic, media list prices, new listings and median time on the market to compare it to a baseline of 100 – established based on January 2020 market trends. The higher a market’s index value, the bigger the recovery and vice versa.

For the week ending June 6, the Housing Recovery Index was 88.8 nationwide, 11.2 points below the January baseline and up 1 point over the week before. The slight increase in this week’s overall index represents a 5.7-point increase over the 83.1 low point in the index during week ending May 2. 

“By combining online search activity along with price and supply dynamics, the index functions as a robust leading indicator of housing activity, and a symptom gauge as we move toward healthier market conditions,” Javier Vivas, director of economic research for realtor.com.

The index showed that the recovery was not impacted in 11 markets that saw the largest protects during the week ending June 6. On average, these markets saw their recovery index increase 0.7 points over the prior week:

  • Atlanta (+1.5 points) 
  • Chicago (+4.7 points) 
  • Cleveland (+3.3 points) 
  • Los Angeles (+0.2 points) 
  • Minneapolis (+0.3 points) 
  • New York (+4.9 points) 
  • Dallas (-2 points) 
  • Louisville (-2.1 points) 
  • Raleigh (-0.7 points) 
  • St. Louis (-0.9 points) 
  • Washington, D.C. (-1.1 points).

“The general sentiment from consumer surveys is that now is not a good time to sell a home because of COVID, economic uncertainty, and social unrest, but the data is saying the opposite,” said Danielle Hale, chief economist for realtor.com. “Home prices are back to their pre-COVID pace and we’re seeing listings spend slightly less time on the market than last week. But the housing market still needs more sellers in order to meet the surge in demand. Looking forward, if we don’t get the inventory we need, we’ll see prices rise even more and homes sell faster later this summer.”

See the full report here.