The historically strong housing market continued to surge forward in November, as buyers gobbled up available homes seemingly as soon as they hit the market. Buyers finally saw some welcome relief on prices, with November’s median sales price dropping 2.9% to $330,000—the largest monthly decline since the pandemic began. And home sales declined only 4.9% from October, far less than the normal seasonal decrease of 12.0% this time of year. Adding to the complex conditions, the number of homes for sale fell to a new low in the 14-year history of the report, declining 17.7% from October.
Overall, November generally followed seasonal trends while at the same time setting records for the month of November in almost every category, such as the fewest average number of days homes were listed before selling. While November’s average of 29 days was two more than October’s, it was only the sixth month in report history with an average below 30. All six months have occurred consecutively, starting with June 2021.
“The market is roaring along, with only half the seasonal slowdown we typically see from October to November,” said Nick Bailey, president, RE/MAX, LLC, in a statement. “The small drop in prices is great news for buyers, and it could be an early sign of some balance coming back into the market.
“The lack of available inventory continues to be a challenge, but 2021 has been a very strong year for home sales. That says a lot about the resiliency of the housing market and the importance of homeownership in people’s lives. With work flexibility, low interest rates, generational factors and continued high demand, we’re heading into 2022 with plenty of reasons to be optimistic.”
November’s median sales price across the report’s 51 metro areas dropped $10,000 below October’s $340,000, falling 2.9%. That was the largest month-to-month drop since January 2020, when the median price declined 3.4%. And while price drops are typical in January, they are unusual in November. Based on report averages for the five-year period from 2015-2019 (excluding 2020 because of pandemic impacts), the median November price rose an average of 0.9%.
Other comparisons of note for the month of November 2021 relative to trends from 2015-2019 include:
- The five-year average for October-to-November home sales is a decline of 12.0%, more than twice the drop of 4.9% in November 2021.
- The five-year average for October-to-November inventory is a decline of 8.9%, slightly over half of the drop of 17.7% in November 2021.
- After dropping in January, prices typically rise each month from February through June, then decline each month from July through October. They generally rebound slightly in November and December. The first nine months of 2021 followed the 2015-2019 pattern before October posted an unusual 0.8% price increase, followed by November’s uncommon decline.
Despite declining month over month, November’s median home price was 11.9% higher than November 2020’s $295,000 and marks the 35th consecutive month that home prices have risen year over year.
The 1.2 months supply of inventory in November dropped from October’s 1.4 and was only 0.1 of a month more than the report record of 1.1 set in March and matched in April, May and June.
Highlights and the local markets leading various metrics for November include:
Of the 51 metro areas surveyed in November 2021, the overall average number of home sales is down 4.9% compared to October 2021, and down 0.1% compared to November 2020. The markets with the biggest decrease in year-over-year sales percentage were Billings, Montana at -13.0%, San Antonio, Texas at -11.4%, and San Diego, California at -11.0%. Leading in year-over-year sales percentage increase were Honolulu, Hawaii at +31.5%, Tulsa, Oklahoma at +13.4%, and Wilmington/Dover, Delaware at +12.7%.
Median Sales Price – Median of 51 Metro Median Prices
In November 2021, the median of all 51 metro median sales prices was $330,000, down 2.9% compared to October 2021, and up 11.9% from November 2020. No metro areas saw a year-over-year decrease in median sales prices. Thirty-nine metro areas increased year-over-year by double-digit percentages, led by Phoenix, Arizona at +27.2%, Salt Lake City, Utah at +25.3%, and Boise, Idaho at +24.8%.
Days on Market – Average of 51 Metro Areas
The average days on market for homes sold in November 2021 was 29, up two days from the average in October 2021, and down eight days from the average in November 2020. The metro areas with the lowest days on market were Nashville, Tennessee at 12, and a tie between Omaha, Nebraska and Cincinnati, Ohio at 16. The highest days on market averages were in Des Moines, Iowa, at 86, Miami, Florida at 78, and New York, New York at 69. Days on market is the number of days between when a home is first listed in an MLS and a sales contract is signed.
Months Supply of Inventory – Average of 51 Metro Areas
The number of homes for sale in November 2021 was down 17.7% from October 2021 and down 30.1% from November 2020. Based on the rate of home sales in November 2021, the months supply of inventory decreased to 1.2 compared to 1.4 in October 2021, and decreased compared to 2.1 in November 2020. A six months supply indicates a market balanced equally between buyers and sellers. In November 2021, of the 51 metro areas surveyed, zero metro areas reported a months supply at or over six, which is typically considered a buyer’s market. The markets with the lowest months supply of inventory were a tie between Denver, Colorado and Seattle, Washington at 0.5, and another tie between Albuquerque, New Mexico and Manchester, New Hampshire at 0.6.
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