US real estate market booming

Australia is not the only country experiencing a real estate boom in 2021, with new figures from the United States showing national median home values have reached a new all-time high.

US median prices hit US$375,000 ($485,940) in April, a 17.2 per cent rise on the same period last year, according to’s Monthly Housing Trends report.

The report also found houses were selling at a record low of 43 days on the market, with listing levels still 26 per cent below pre-pandemic levels.

But the number of new sellers surged in April compared to the same month last year, when many cities had social restrictions in place.

“After stay-at-home orders brought the housing market to a halt last spring, especially for sellers who rethought their plans, 2021 is shaping up to be more typical,” Chief Economist Danielle Hale said.

“That lack of activity is causing this year’s more normal trends to look like a huge improvement, and it is.

“However, when compared to pre-pandemic levels it is very clear we are still not on par with the number of sellers we saw in 2017 through 2019, which is helping to drive one of the most competitive sellers’ markets of all time.”

Ms Hale said home prices were continuing to surge and sales were occurring about three weeks faster than during a normal US spring home-buying season.

She said she expected more homeowners to put their homes on the market in the coming months.

“However, with 554,000 fewer homes available for sale on a typical day in April this year compared to last year, and buyer demand at all-time highs, home prices are expected to continue to reach new highs before peaking in July or August,” she said.

Nationally, new listings increased 32.6 per cent in April compared to last year. But there were 130,000 (25.5 per cent) fewer homes listed this April than the average rate in 2017 to 2019.

As sales occurred at a record pace, the number of active listings was down 53 per cent year-over-year, while total inventory, which includes pending sales, was 21.9 per cent lower.

The Northeast and Midwest of the country, which were first and hardest-hit at the start of the pandemic, posted the largest year-over-year growth in newly listed homes in April, with Pittsburgh, Detroit, and Buffalo (New York state) showing the biggest gains.

Southern markets in Oklahoma City and Nashville, Tennessee, both experienced a 30 per cent reduction in newly listed homes year-on-year.

Homes are selling three weeks faster than 2017-2019

Homes across the US are selling more quickly than last year, when most of the country was on lockdown.

Homes spent an average 43 days on the market this April – 20 days less than last year. Notably, it was 18 days less than the typical time on market in April 2017 to 2019 and faster than any time since 2012, underscoring the continuing record-setting demand for housing.

Homes sold even faster in the 50 largest US metros at 34 days on average, down from 50 in April 2020.

In Denver, homes sold in an average of 15 days, while the median time on market in Columbus, Ohio, was just 16 days and 18 days in Austin, Texas. Five of the top 50 largest markets are seeing homes sell in less than three weeks on average. Of the nation’s largest markets, only New York saw time on market increase – up 13 days.

Listing prices on the rise

The median national home price for active listings rose 17.2 per cent over last year to reach a new all-time high of US$375,000 in April.

In the 50 largest metropolitan markets, the median home price increased 11.6 per cent compared to last year.

This was slightly lower than the 12.1 per cent rise in March, potentially signalling slowing price growth in the larger markets.

Austin (+40.6 per cent), Los Angeles (+23.6 per cent) and Riverside, California, (+22 per cent) posted the highest year-over-year median list price growth in April. 

Memphis in Tennessee, (-4 per cent), Milwaukee (-2.4 per cent), and Louisville, Kentucky, (-0.9 per cent) were the only top 50 metros to see their median listing price decline year-over-year during the month.

April housing overview by market

MetroMedian Listing Price YoYMedian Listing PriceMedian Days on Market YoY (Days)Median Days on MarketNew Listing Count YoYActive Listing Count YoY
Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, Ga.20.7%$392,000-18312.8%-63.4%
Austin-Round Rock, Texas40.6%$515,000-251819.1%-72.7%
Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, Md.2.4%$336,000-202951.9%-53.2%
Birmingham-Hoover, Ala.6.4%$277,000-204115.2%-51.4%
Boston-Cambridge-Newton, Mass.-N.H.13.3%$699,000-242297.7%-25.1%
Buffalo-Cheektowaga-Niagara Falls, N.Y.15.7%$254,000-3331178.0%-41.3%
Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, N.C.-S.C.18.6%$403,000-1232-14.4%-66.9%
Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, Ill.-Ind.-Wis.9.6%$356,000-173446.8%-43.4%
Cincinnati, Ohio-Ky.-Ind.15.8%$352,000-1038-15.1%-54.4%
Cleveland-Elyria, Ohio17.0%$234,000-174313.3%-54.5%
Columbus, Ohio1.7%$315,000-271645.7%-48.8%
Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, Texas12.0%$380,000-22286.7%-69.7%
Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, Colo.5.1%$575,000-191558.9%-56.8%
Detroit-Warren-Dearborn, Mich16.3%$285,000-3228178.8%-53.5%
Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford, Conn.8.8%$310,000-243248.5%-35.5%
Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, Texas14.1%$355,000-154010.0%-54.9%
Indianapolis-Carmel-Anderson, Ind.0.9%$287,000-133919.2%-59.5%
Jacksonville, Fla.11.9%$349,000-2435-10.9%-72.6%
Kansas City, Mo.-Kan.8.1%$368,000-214022.7%-55.5%
Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, Nev.15.3%$379,000-142910.6%-51.1%
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, Calif.23.6%$1,114,000-104966.2%-22.1%
Louisville/Jefferson County, Ky.-Ind.-0.9%$272,000-213025.1%-54.0%
Memphis, Tenn.-Miss.-Ark.-4.0%$240,000-174011.3%-58.0%
Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, Fla.4.8%$418,000-197263.3%-46.0%
Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, Wis.-2.4%$332,000-93620.7%-54.9%
Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, Minn.-Wis.0.2%$366,000-8304.6%-44.5%
Nashville-Davidson–Murfreesboro–Franklin, Tenn.11.2%$417,000-1520-30.0%-70.6%
New Orleans-Metairie, La.19.2%$345,000-175116.9%-50.7%
New York-Newark-Jersey City, N.Y.-N.J.-Pa.9.3%$629,0001367175.5%-18.1%
Oklahoma City, Okla.19.7%$313,000-540-30.1%-67.1%
Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, Fla.6.2%$332,000-15439.2%-61.7%
Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, Pa.-N.J.-Del.-Md.13.3%$340,000-2339140.1%-36.8%
Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, Ariz.21.9%$457,000-1524-2.4%-68.0%
Pittsburgh, Pa.N/A$272,000-4044229.3%-49.9%
Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, Ore.-Wash.12.9%$540,000-142828.2%-54.6%
Providence-Warwick, R.I.-Mass.5.3%$420,000-262842.0%-57.9%
Raleigh, N.C.12.6%$412,000-2526-6.9%-72.6%
Richmond, Va.11.0%$375,000-93814.3%-55.5%
Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, Calif.22.0%$512,000-282833.9%-63.7%
Rochester, N.Y.5.8%$264,000-2919108.8%-41.6%
Sacramento–Roseville–Arden-Arcade, Calif.18.6%$592,000-172129.8%-54.4%
San Antonio-New Braunfels, Texas9.0%$324,000-2137-8.9%-70.7%
San Diego-Carlsbad, Calif.17.3%$852,000N/A4834.2%-31.5%
San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, Calif.13.6%$1,062,000-1327106.9%-6.2%
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, Calif.3.3%$1,238,000-1322112.3%-10.8%
Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, Wash.13.2%$679,000-102262.2%-44.6%
St. Louis, Mo.-Ill.13.5%$266,00006133.4%-43.9%
Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, Fla.17.3%$327,000-23323.2%-72.5%
Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, Va.-N.C.1.4%$323,000-242510.2%-53.5%
Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-Va.-Md.-W. Va.1.2%$506,000-72960.6%-33.0%

*Some data for Pittsburgh and San Diego has been excluded due to data quality.

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