Are bidding wars set to ease?

Housing inventory surge provides more options for buyers

Are bidding wars set to ease?

After years of inventory constraints, the housing market is finally seeing an influx of new listings from sellers taking advantage of favorable conditions, according to a new report from RE/MAX, but don’t expect bidding wars to ease just yet.

“More sellers are seeing the advantages of listing their homes now. They’re getting their asking price and enjoying the benefits of a relatively quick sale,” president Amy Lessinger said in the RE/MAX housing report. “Growing inventory offers more options for homebuyers, too, and we’re seeing more sales activity as a result.”

The surge in new listings fueled a 10.9% month-over-month rise in overall home sales in May to the highest level since mid-2022. Sales were also up 0.7% compared to May 2023.

The influx of inventory provided some relief in a housing market that has been starved of supply for over a year. The total number of homes for sale in May was up 39.6% year-over-year across the metros surveyed.

Despite the increasing options, buyer demand remained strong, keeping upward pressure on prices. The median home sale price rose 2.4% from April to $435,000 – a 4.8% increase from May 2023 levels.

“If inventory keeps bulking up and mortgage rates don’t change, prices may eventually start to soften,” Lessinger said.

For now, sellers are firmly in control, with homes going for full asking price after averaging discounts of 1% or more for eight straight months before April.

Some local markets exemplified the supply-constrained dynamics driving up prices. In Cleveland, where the median sale price was a relatively affordable $245,000, prices still surged 18.9% year-over-year due to tight inventory.

Read next: First-time homebuyer activity a bright spot in subdued market

“The situation will likely persist until the Cleveland market offers more affordable housing and more listings are available,” Linda LaFleur, broker/owner of RE/MAX Crossroads in Cleveland, said in the report. “An uptick in listings would certainly help balance the market.”

Nationally, homes sold in May spent an average of 34 days on the market, two days longer than May 2023 but an improvement from April 2024 levels as the uptick in supply gave buyers more opportunities to act quickly.

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