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Knock study says we’re entering a buyer’s market

Even the home of Disney World, Orlando, Florida, is moving away from being a seller’s market, according to Power Buyer company Knock’s inaugural Buyer-Seller Market Index, released today.

The Index revealed that the U.S. housing market began to shift in July toward buyers for the first time since 2017. The new index analyzes key housing market metrics to measure the degree to which of  the nation’s 100 largest markets favor home buyers or sellers.

According to the index, all 100 markets strongly favored sellers through the first five months of 2022 with the month of April being the best time to sell a home since the beginning of 2017, the start of the index’s data series.

June was the first time the market dipped below historic peaks for sellers, with July indicating a significant shift in market dynamics. 

“After two years of homes selling quickly and often well-above list prices, we are beginning to see a more balanced market,” said Knock Co-Founder and CEO Sean Black. “With the overall U.S. housing market projected to equally favor buyers and sellers by June 2023, home shoppers may see the most favorable conditions in recent history. At the same time, that doesn’t mean a return to 2008. Sellers, who have already seen substantial equity gains in recent years, will still hold the advantage in many markets.”

The shift begins

Fewer than 150,000 homes were sold across the nation’s 100 largest housing markets in July, the lowest monthly sales figure in 12 months and down 50.7% since July 2021. The nation’s housing inventory rose 6.8%, median days on market increased 27.3% and median sale price for all housing types was up 9.6%,

Eighty-one of the 100 largest metropolitan areas favored sellers in July. Three markets in California – San Diego, San Francisco and San Jose – moved from sellers’ to buyers’ markets as home prices dropped by more than 60% and days on market also rose significantly over the same period last year. In a buyers’ market, sellers are more likely to accept a lower price than the list price. The opposite is true in a sellers’ market where homes often sell for more than the list price.

Sixteen metros – Salt Lake City; Phoenix; Los Angeles; Boise, Idaho; Atlanta; Nashville, Tenn.; Bakersfield, Calif.; Fresno, Calif.; Riverside, Calif.; Colorado Springs, Colo.; New Orleans; Orlando, Fla.; Portland, Ore.; Tampa, Fla.; Denver and Oxnard, Calif. – moved from favoring sellers to neutral, favoring neither buyers nor sellers. 

Despite a majority of markets considered to be sellers’ markets, nearly all of the 100 largest housing markets moved closer toward favoring buyers. The only exception was Fayetteville, N.C., where at $235,000 the median home price remains relatively low, but has risen quickly and homes sell in six days, less than half the national median day on market. 

Top 10 Buyers’ Markets

RankMarketIndexMedian sale price Median days on market No. homes sold 
1San Diego-Chula Vista- Carlsbad, Calif.Favors Buyers$832,000 17 1,419 
2San Francisco-Oakland-Berkeley, Calif.Favors Buyers$1,175,000 18 1,442 
3San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, Calif.Favors Buyers$1,400,000 19 648 
4Salt Lake City, UtahNeutral$520,000 15 616 
5Phoenix-Mesa-Chandler, Ariz.Neutral$460,000 19 3,759 
6Los Angeles-Long Beach- Anaheim, Calif.Neutral$905,000 27 4,236 
7Boise City, IdahoNeutral$500,000 N/A562 
8Atlanta-Sandy Springs- Alpharetta, Ga.Neutral$389,900 15 4,622 
9Nashville-Davidson-Murfreesboro-Franklin, Tenn.Neutral$452,000 17 1,742 
10Bakersfield, Calif.Neutral$357,000 15 477 

Top 10 Sellers’ Markets

RankMarketIndexMedian sale price Median days on market No. homes sold 
1Fayetteville, N.C.Strongly Favors Sellers$235,000 996 
2Winston-Salem, N.C.Strongly Favors Sellers$275,000 498 
3Little Rock-North Little Rock- Conway, Ark.Strongly Favors Sellers$225,000 599 
4Savannah, Ga.Strongly Favors Sellers$310,000 17 431 
5El Paso, TexasStrongly Favors Sellers$232,000 449 
6Hartford-EastHartford-Middletown, Conn.Strongly Favors Sellers$325,000 17 821 
7Greensboro-High Point, N.C.Favors Sellers$260,000 554 
8Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, Conn.Favors Sellers$610,000 N/A704 
9Columbia, S.C.Favors Sellers$260,000 16 584 
10Akron, OhioFavors Sellers$210,000 534 

March will be the best time to sell in 2023; Austin will see the biggest shift

For homeowners looking to maximize profit, March is likely to be the best month to sell their home. As the market continues to become more balanced, 15 of the 100 largest housing markets are projected to favor buyers by July 2023, while 27 more are expected to move to neutral territory, where neither buyers or sellers have the upperhand.

Austin, Texas, is projected to see the most dramatic shift toward buyer favorability of any city in the index – transitioning from what has been a strong sellers’ market in recent years into one of the most favorable buyers’ markets in the nation. The median sales price in Austin rose 71% compared to July 2019. Nationally, the median home price was up 39.9% over the same period.

Naples, Fla., a hot housing relocation market during the pandemic, is projected to have the longest days on market by mid-2023, at 57 days, meaning homebuyers are likely to encounter far more options when seeking a home purchase. Toledo, Ohio, ranks second at 30 days — down slightly from this past July, when the city had the longest median days on market figure in the nation, at 32 days. 

Springfield, Mo., will have the shortest list-to-sale at 4.5 days, indicating competition for housing is likely to be very high. In addition to Springfield, median days on market are projected to be fewer than six days in the following nine markets: Akron, Ohio; Fayetteville, N.C.; Cleveland; St. Louis; Oklahoma City; El Paso, Texas; Winston-Salem, N.C. and Greensboro, N.C.

As more markets slowly shift toward favoring buyers, median sales prices are expected to decline, but only to a point. After reaching a low in January 2023, the median-priced home in the U.S. is expected to reach $427,000 by June 2023. The Index predicts that California and Florida will favor buyers with North Carolina and the Northeast emerging as sellers’ markets.