Although the US economy is struggling, the housing market is making quite the comeback. Realtor.com found that more than half of the largest metropolitan areas have recovered from their pandemic lows, with Boston leading the pack.
As a result of the lack of homes on the market, median list prices are up more than 9 percent year over year in the United States, according to the website, with the median home price in Boston at $675,050 in July. The median home price in the United States was $349,000, a record high.
“Housing tends to be immune from economic downturns and slowdowns,” said Javier Vivas, Realtor.com’s director of economic research. That’s excluding the past recession, which was caused by a housing bubble. “Right now we’re seeing markets recover faster where they’re able to contain the virus better. Markets with strong technology sectors have been more resilient.”
Boston, like many other metros, has seen a shift in what buyers want as they are moving from the city to the suburbs.
“The new town homes and condos within walking distance to the city center — which have been selling like shares from hot IPOs for the past few years — are now sitting on the market. However, the ‘McMansions’ and actual mansions that were popular in the ’90s are suddenly all the rage again,” according to the report.
“Sellers would have had to discount [these places] to sell” before the pandemic, said Gary Kaufman of Keller Williams Realty in Needham told the website. “Now these properties are selling at full price.”
To figure out which metros have boomeranged the best, the site looked at median home asking price growth, the percentage of new listings coming online, the number of days on market, and online home search growth. The team looked for year-over-year growth in each of the metrics, then it created an index by comparing those stats in January — a relatively normal pre-COVID-19 month for the housing market — to the week ending July 18.
A score of 100% means the market is performing the same as it was in January. Anything higher shows how much better it’s doing. (The list was narrowed to just two metropolitan areas per state to ensure geographic diversity.)
These are the markets that have recovered the most since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis: