How the residential real estate market has changed over the past decade


The National Association of Realtors analyzed existing home-sale figures for the past ten years, stretching from May 2008 to May 2018. Comparing the analytics from the the month of May across this timeframe, NAR research data specialist Michael Hyman found notable changes to existing home supply, sales and prices:

  • From May 2008 to May 2018, home inventory has fallen 50.4 percent despite an overall population increase of 20 million in the U.S.
  • Currently there are fewer homes on the market today than the average of the past 10 years.
  • Relative to inventory, U.S. homes in May 2018 sold at the fastest rate when months’ supply was at 4.1 months.
  • Existing home sales in May 2018 were higher than the 10-year average across the country, as well as within individual regions.
  • May 2018 existing home sales were 31.2 percent higher than May 2008 existing home sales. The percentage increase serves as a reminder of steep price drops in 2008 as a result of the housing market crash.
  • The U.S. saw a 27.5 percent increase in median home prices over the past decade, with the Northeast as the only region seeing lower prices.
  • However, median family incomes have risen at a slower pace, with only a 18.5 percent across the 10-year period
  • From 10 years ago, mortgage rates have favorably fallen 22.8 percent from 6.10 percent to 4.71 percent.

In summary, NAR points out that the housing market has seen a number of changes including increases in home sales and prices while inventory levels have decreased. “Population and job growth will need a steady supply of new and existing housing to assure that the dream of being a home owner can still come true.”

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