Where Did the Listings Go?

August 28, 2020
Graphic map with listing signs
Image: stock.Adobe.com

Zillow’s weekly market report analyzes the connection between rock-bottom inventory and rising home prices and the factors tugging both metrics. The analysis also looks at the demand for rentals in the wake of layoffs during this pandemic and the possible paths for home sales in 2021.

All summer, listings have gone pending — the first step to a sale — at a rate higher than similar weeks in 2019. Pending sales on Zillow surpassed year-ago levels in the week ending June 6, the first time that had been the case since the week ending March 28 when the full effect of the coronavirus pandemic had become evident nationwide and caused sales activity to slow. During that 10-week slowdown, there were 22% fewer pending sales than in the same 10 weeks of 2019. Since June 6, however, pending sales have outpaced 2019 volumes by about 11%.



On the supply side of the market, this year’s shortfall is stunning. Starting on March 26, we saw fewer listings appear on Zillow than the same date a year ago, and levels have still not recovered. Cumulatively, Zillow saw just over 3 million new listings in those nearly five months of 2019, compared with about 2.5 million new listings this year. That shortfall alone goes a long way toward explaining why we now see about 400,000 fewer listings than this time last year.

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