September is typically the sweet spot for buyers: the summer frenzy is slowing down and competition isn’t as fierce. This year, however, things were different. According to realtor.com®’s September Monthly Housing Trends Report, this fall, homebuyers are typically paying roughly $20,000 more for a home, facing 25 percent more competition than at the start of the year.
According to the report, in 2019, the best week to purchase a home was Sept. 22-28. However, this year, listings have decreased 21 percent compared to the start of the year and there are 25 percent more buyers in the market. This means that homes are flying off the market—12 days faster than expected, in fact.
For the first time since 2016, according to the report, homes sold faster in September than August. In the largest 50 U.S. metros, the typical home sold in 44 days in September, which is 10 days faster than last year.
And because there’s more activity than last year, prices are up. In the Northeast, price acceleration is up 12.8 percent YoY, while it has increased 10.9 percent in Midwestern metros, 8.6 percent in the West and 7.2 percent in the South.
Inventory is also still lacking. According to realtor.com®, the number of newly listed homes on the market in September declined by 13.8 percent since last year. This is a larger decrease than the 11.8 percent YoY loss in August.
“Many buyers tend to put their home search on hold after the start of the school year, but remote learning and the desire for more space continued to fuel buyer interest in September,” said Danielle Hale, chief economist, realtor.com®. “Unseasonably high buyer interest, coupled with historically low inventory and favorable mortgage rates, are creating a perfect storm in the housing market. While this is good news for anyone looking to sell their home, it has created tremendous competition among buyers.”