Although new listings are down 39 percent year-over-year, they’ve been gradually rising for the past three weeks. And, while listings in higher price ranges were particularly hard hit by the economic downturn, they’re now seeing the greatest resurgence, according to new data from Zillow.
New listings of homes at the highest price points, in the top fifth of the market, dropped first and hardest as the coronavirus pandemic hit markets. By mid-April, new listings of the most expensive homes had dropped by 51.4 percent compared to last year’s numbers. In contrast, new listings of the most affordable homes have only dropped by 32.1 percent at their lowest point compared to last year.
The total number of new listings overall was up 5.9 percent last week from the week before. Denver, Colorado, and Riverside, California, in particular, saw significant jumps in pending listings by 59.1 and 24.4 percent week-over-week, respectively. But, nationwide, new listings in the highest price tier were up by 8 percent last week from the previous week.
As pending sales have also increased during this period, the rise in new high priced listings indicates growing seller confidence. Sellers in higher priced markets, of whom it can be inferred are likely in more stable positions, were more likely to press pause at the beginning of the pandemic to see how things unfolded, compared to other sellers at lower price points who may have continued to list then out of necessity, Zillow’s report notes.
“Many sellers with the flexibility to delay or temporarily remove listings have opted to do so, perhaps waiting out the uncertainty,” Skylar Olsen, senior principal economist at Zillow, said in a statement. “Now that more buyers are in the market, those sellers are wading back in, joining those who had remained motivated to sell for any number of life reasons and adapted with virtual tools and social distancing.”
Although new listings continue to gradually rise, the current rate of new listings is more akin to a typical mid-December market than a spring market. Total inventory has also made its sharpest decline since the pandemic hit the U.S., by 16.7 percent year-over-year during the week ending on May 3.
As a result of limited inventory and an uptick in demand, home prices have remained steady. As of May 3, the median list price of homes was $320,466, 0.4 percent higher than the previous year. However, Zillow anticipates a slight drop in home prices by 2-3 percent by the end of 2020.