The pandemic created a frenzied real estate market in much of the United States that has yet to let up, with demand for housing still outpacing the number of homes coming on the market, giving sellers a heavy upper hand in most of the country. But economists say the market cooled off a bit in July — perhaps a sign that the wild price appreciations of the past year may have scared off some buyers who prefer to wait until things calm down, to stay put or to continue renting.
Nationally, U.S. median home prices held steady from June to July at $385,000. That’s up 10.3 percent from last year at this time, according to the latest data from Realtor.com. It’s slower growth than the 12.7 percent increase in June 2021, and it marks the third month in a row in which the year-over-year gains have slowed.
“It is just moving from super hot to normal hot,” said Lawrence Yun, the chief economist for the National Association of Realtors, which has not yet released its July data. “It is still a sellers’ market.”
Economists say the rise of the more contagious Delta variant of the virus is likely to accelerate the hybrid and work-from-home trend that is driving buyers with the means to do so to upgrade to larger houses — a trend that often takes people farther from the urban core or to less expensive cities. And interest rates remain low, another factor in surging housing demand.