Temperatures are cooling, but new data shows that the real estate market is still hot. New reports from Zillow and Realtor.com show that home sellers feel more confident listing their homes for sale. According to Zillow’s report, more new listings came onto the market in the first week of September than at any other point since the start of the pandemic.

Buyers and sellers are gaining more confidence, and that’s great news for the housing market.

Quick Sales are Driving an Extended Selling Season

Zillow’s report shows that newly pending sales are up 25.5% compared to this same period last year. The figure is down 0.7% since August, but up by 0.7% since the week ending August 29.

During the same period last year, newly pending sales dipped 9.3% month over month.

Traditionally, sales begin slowing in September as the cooler weather approaches. However, 2020 is an exception, with quick sales driving an extended selling season. Demand is still going strong.

Zillow’s report shows that newly pending sales are up significantly year-over-year in some areas, including:

  • Cleveland, OH: 68.2%
  • New York, NY/Newark, NJ: 62.2%
  • San Francisco, CA: 51.7%
  • Chicago, IL: 46.4%
  • Detroit, MI: 44.5%
  • San Antonio, TX: 42.3%
  • Miami, FL: 40.2%
  • Hartford, CT: 40.2%
  • Jacksonville, FL: 37.9%
  • Birmingham, AL: 38%
  • Austin, TX: 35.2%

Inventory is still tightening, so homes are leaving the market almost as quickly as they’re being added. For the fifth week in a row, the average days-to-pending for homes on the market was just 13 days.

Strong Sales are Giving Sellers More Confidence

Total inventory is continuing its long streak of tightening. For the week of September 5, the total inventory was down 29% compared to last year, down 3% since August, and has continued to fall every week for the last 14 weeks.

However, new for-sale inventory has jumped 16.2% month over month and 17.6% since the previous week. Although the figure is still down 3.5% compared to last year, new for-sale inventory has reached its highest level since the start of the pandemic.

Prices Continue to Climb

Tightening total inventory and high demand is pushing prices higher. Over the summer, the median home sale price was $281,844, up 7.8% from last year and 4.5% month over month.

Areas with the highest median sale price include:

  • San Francisco: CA: $889,750
  • Los Angeles, CA: $716,750
  • San Diego, CA: $635,862
  • Seattle, WA: $543,744
  • Boston, MA: $517,719
  • Washington, DC: $452,412
  • New York, NY/Newark, NJ: $445,250

Median prices rose the most in:

  • Birmingham, AL: Up 12.1% to $227,225
  • St. Louis, MO: Up 12% to $213,688
  • Indianapolis, IN: Up 11.3% to $225,422
  • Austin, TX: Up 11.1% to $359,000
  • Phoenix, AZ: Up 10.7% to $321,112

The median list price reached $345,824, up 9.3% year over year and 0.2% month over month.

The number of listings with a price cut is 4.2%, with a median price cut of 2.5%.

The Bottom Line

Contrary to the grim forecasts, the housing market continues to outpace predictions and is even surpassing the success of last year.