This story was originally published in Builder.
U.S. home prices hit an all-time high of $297,000 and sold faster than ever before in May—in a mere 55 days—but the market also showed hints of slowed momentum, according to the Realtor.com May 2018 monthly housing trend report.
Realtor.com data showed inventory declined 6 percent year over year in May and increased 6 percent compared to April 2018. Median listing prices only grew 8 percent year over year for the third month in a row, down from 10 percent in February. Part of this deceleration can be attributed to 557,000 new listings hitting the market in May, the highest number since July 2015.
According to Javier Vivas, director of economic research for Realtor.com, "We're in the thick of the hottest home-buying season of all time. The pace of U.S. home sales has officially reached a seasonal and historical high, but we're also beginning to see slight signs of deceleration. As more and more new listings come onto the market, inventory declines are starting to lose momentum. On the surface, this offers a glimmer of hope to home buyers and, if sustained, could plug the supply leak. However, total listing volume remains highly dependent on new construction, much of which is still out of the price range of first time buyers—the largest segment of buyers. Even as inventory recovers, the mix of what's available versus what shoppers are looking for could become an even more pronounced mismatch. Unfortunately for buyers, median list prices continue to show strong yearly growth and fail to hint that home values will stall any time soon."
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