The “Looking Glass” examines economic and real estate trends through two distinct lenses: the “glass half full” of optimists and the “glass half empty” of pessimists.
Buzz: The number of homes for sale in the United States jumped 25% from April to May, the biggest one-month jump in a database dating back to 2016.
Source: My trusty spreadsheet looked inside Realtor.com’s curation of the St. Louis Fed’s monthly enrollment statistics.
Debate: Was this big jump a short-term reaction by homeowners to rising mortgage rates and economic fears, or was it the start of a wave for home hunters who had little choice in the age of pandemic ? And where did the owners rush to sell the most?
glass half full
Considering the May surge as good news for home buyers, California ranks 7th at 37%.
The largest jumps were in the western United States: Washington No. 1, up 62%, then Utah at 60%, Idaho at 52%, Arizona at 45% and Colorado at 41%.
The smallest ? South Dakota at 4%, then Hawaii at 8%, West Virginia at 11%, New York at 11% and Louisiana at 12%,
And California’s rivals: Texas, No. 19 at 27% and Florida, No. 22 at 25%.
So how weird was May? Let’s look at what homeowners did in 2017-19 before the coronavirus upended the house hunt.
An average May in pre-pandemic years saw U.S. registrations edge up 4% from April to May. This year, the increase in May was six times greater.
California’s average jump in May in 2017-19 was 8%. This year’s jump was 4.5 times greater.
The biggest increases? Wisconsin’s 22% was 18 times the pace in May 2017-19; Delaware’s 23% were 15 times larger, Arkansas’ 15% were 14 times larger, and Oklahoma’s 17% were 10 times faster.
Glass half empty
However you view May’s stunning surge, the listings are still well below pre-pandemic standards.
The May 2022 national inventory was 60% lower than the May 2017-2019 average. California fell 45% – the sixth smallest drop.
Farthest from normal? Vermont was 82% below average, followed by Connecticut, which was down 78%, Maine at 75%, and North Carolina and New Hampshire at 73%.
Closest to normal, and still not so close, was Nevada, at 29%, then New York at 34%, Washington State and Idaho at 41%, and Utah at 44%.
Texas ranks 12th, at 54%, and Florida ranks 35th, at 67%.
What awaits us
What is a typical month of June for homes on the market?
The spreadsheet says the 2017-19 toll will boost nationwide enrollment by 4%, with California ranked No. 26 at 5%.
The largest average jumps were in Washington state, up 13%, followed by Maine and Colorado at 12%, and Oregon and New Hampshire at 11%.
Supply is falling in snowbird-friendly Arizona, down 3% on average, and Florida, down 2%. Housing supply is stagnating in Alabama, Delaware and South Carolina.
Then there’s Texas, No. 22 with 5% growth.
If you look at May on a year-over-year basis, 30 states saw an increase in the supply of homes for sale — with the country overall up 8%. California ranked No. 9 at 28%.
Biggest jumps? Idaho at 88%, then Utah at 73%, Arizona at 59%, Washington at 44% and Tennessee at 42%.
The smallest ? Connecticut, down 55%, followed by Vermont (down 31%), Illinois (down 17%), Iowa (down 17%) and New Mexico (down 16%).
Texas? No. 11, up 22%. Florida? No. 29, up 1%.
PS: Of the 50 major metro areas tracked, the biggest jump in homes on the market for the year occurred in Austin (up 86%), followed by Phoenix (up 67%), Sacramento (up 55%) and the Inland Empire (up 52%). ).
Jonathan Lansner is the business columnist for the Southern California News Group. He can be contacted at [email protected]