The pandemic has distorted all parts and sections of American society and its economy. But one particular area of major impact has been on housing markets. Housing market predictions at the start of the pandemic was anybody’s guess. Now, however, with over year passing since the pandemic’s onset, housing markets in the United States have been bubbling — or even boiling — with activity. With so much pent-up demand to buy houses, many housing markets are watching their inventory of available homes for sale evaporate. That’s great for sellers, but it puts both cities and home buyers in a very tough position.
In order to find out how difficult the post-pandemic market is, we conducted a study to determine, from a collection of the 200 largest cities in the United States, which housing markets are experiencing the most severe tightening in their for-sale inventory and the greatest speed of their homes going off the market. The factors analyzed in the study include available for-sale inventory, median days on market, and median sale price, with all data sourced from the Redfin.
Read on to find out the 15 cities where the squeeze on available homes for sale is the worst.
Cape Coral, Florida
Cape Coral has seen one of the biggest declines in for-sale inventory from 2020 to 2021 out of all 200 cities in the study. From having an estimated 1,959 available homes for sale in April 2020, Cape Coral now has only 482 available homes for sale — meaning, the city’s housing inventory dropped by more than 75% in just one year. Not surprisingly, home prices in Cape Coral have surged since 2020. According to Redfin, the median sale price in April 2020 was about $245,000. A year later, in April 2021, the sale price is now $315,000.
Murfreesboro’s housing market has been hot for some time now. But over the last year, for-sale inventory in the popular Tennessee city plummeted by 73.3%. In April 2020, there were 1,038 available homes for sale in Murfreesboro, but by April 2021, that was down to a mere 277 homes. Equally stunning is that the number of days homes stand on the market before being sold has dropped even more. In April 2020, the median days on market for a Murfreesboro home was 43 days. As of April 2021, the median number of days on market is only five days.
Boise has become a hotspot for many people who fled the Bay Area and Pacific Northwest tech cities during the pandemic. But even before the pandemic, Boise’s housing market was feeling the squeeze of serious demand. The median number of days on market went from 67 days in April 2016, down to just nine days in April 2020, and finally to only five days in April 2021. At the same time, for-sale inventory in the Boise housing market has fallen sharply, by more than 85%, from 727 available homes for sale in April 2020, down to 105 homes in April 2021.
Alaska’s largest city is experiencing a major tightening of its for-sale inventory in 2021. From just a year ago, Anchorage’s available homes for sale was cut by more than half. In April 2020, there were 1,362 homes for sale, but by April 2021, that figure had been slashed to 626 homes available. At the same time, houses in Anchorage are getting bought very quickly. In April 2020, the median number of days on market for a home in Anchorage was 69 days. Now, the median number of days on market is just 10 days, a decline of 85.5% in only a year.
Though technically part of the Chicago metro area, Rockford is a major city in its own right. Though its population has actually declined a bit since 2010, the Rockford housing market is under a lot of pressure in terms of available inventory. And it happened very quickly. From April 2016 to April 2020, the number of available homes for sale only decreased from 363 to 214 over the course of four years. However, from April 2020 to April 2021, available inventory plummeted by 64%, from 214 homes for sale, down to 77.
Aurora is another Illinois city to make our list. The Aurora housing market has begun stirring with activity over the last year. The median number of days on the market before an Aurora home sells went from 18 days in April 2020, down to only five days, for a one-year decline of nearly 77%. Available inventory too has fallen dramatically as buyer demand has heated up. The number of available homes for sale dropped by 60.3%, from 365 in April 2020, down to 145 homes for sale in April 2021. Home prices have reached their highest point on record, or at least since Redfin’s data has been covering them since January 2012, with the median sale price being an estimated $244,000 as of April 2021.
Again, Illinois posts up another city on our list, with Naperville seeing a substantial decline in available homes for sale. With a population of around 150,000, there are only 223 available homes for sale, as of April 2021, down by 61.3% just from last April, when there were 576 homes available. Homes in Naperville are going fast too, with the median days on market falling by an incredible 70.8%, from 24 days in April 2020, down to seven days in April 2021.
Dozens of Texas cities have become seen their housing markets catch fire in the last few years, especially Killeen. Where in April 2016, Killeen had an available inventory of 1,073 houses for sale, by April 2020 that was down to only 390. Then, over the course of one year, Killeen’s inventory was slashed by more than 61%, leaving only 151 homes available for sale as of April 2021. Houses in Killeen were already selling fast, with the median days on market declining from 128 days in April 2016, down to just 12 days in April 2020. Yet still, the median days on market continued to drop, reaching a median of only six days in April 2021.
North Las Vegas, Nevada
North Las Vegas is in fact its own city and not a neighborhood of Las Vegas. North Las Vegas’s population has grown immensely since 2010, when it had just under 217,000 people, to nearly 260,000 people in 2019, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. From 2020 to 2021, the housing market in North Las Vegas only got hotter, with available inventory dropping by 61%: From 883 homes for sale in April 2020, down to 344 homes in April 2021. As a result, home prices have soared in North Las Vegas. According to Redfin data, the median sale price in North Las Vegas is now an estimated $320,000, the highest level since Redfin has been tracking.
Illinois cities just keep appearing in the final list of our study, and Joliet is one of them. Though its population has stagnated since 2010, the Joliet housing market has begun seeing a ton of activity over the last year. Available for-sale inventory stood at 485 homes in April 2016, dropped slightly over four years to reach 365 homes in April 2020, and then plummeted — by almost 62% — to 139 homes for sale as of April 2021.
Another one of Las Vegas’s neighboring cities is the scene of extremely tight inventory. The city of Paradise has seen its inventory of available homes utterly collapse. Back in April 2016, there were 1,474 available homes for sale in Paradise, before dropping to just 49 homes by April 2020. Then, inventory tightened even more, so that by the end of April 2021, Paradise only has six homes available for sale.
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Oklahoma’s capital city is booming, both in terms of its economy and its population. In 2010, Oklahoma City had a population that was around 580,000. Nowadays, the city’s population is nearly 670,000. Fueled by pandemic-induced demand, Oklahoma City’s housing market has experienced a serious decline in inventory. From having well over 2,000 homes available for sale in April 2020, Oklahoma City has seen inventory fall by nearly 65% in one year, reaching just 748 homes for sale in April 2021. And houses aren’t sitting on the market long either. The median days on market for a home in Oklahoma City dropped from 19 days in April 2020 to a median of only eight days in April 2021.
Florida has continually been the scene of crazy and volatile swings in its housing markets. But Tampa stands out in this study, with it for-sale inventory taking a massive dive in one year’s time. Back in April 2020, Tampa had an estimated 2,470 homes available for sale, but by the end of April 2021, there are only 829 homes available — a decline of two-thirds over the course of just 12 months. Tampa homes are flying off the shelf quickly, with the median number of days spent on the market before selling going from 21 days in April 2020, down to nine days in April 2021.
St. Petersburg, Florida
Coming in next on our list is Tampa’s neighbor, St. Petersburg. In fact, the entire Tampa Bay region has become one of the hottest housing markets. In St. Petersburg, houses are going fast, with the median days on market declining from three weeks in April 2020, to only 11 days in April 2021. Equally alarming is the dramatic fall in for-sale inventory. Last year, in St. Petersburg, more than 1,500 homes were available for sale in April 2020. A year later and the city now has only 527 available homes for sale, equivalent to a 65.2% decline in inventory.
Who would’ve thought the state capital of Nebraska would be experiencing a hot housing market? Lincoln’s housing market has been on a hot streak, with the median sale price, according to Redfin, reaching an all-time high of roughly $243,000 as of April 2021, up from around $205,000 the same month the year before. For-sale inventory in Lincoln has taken a severe hit over the last year, going from 565 available homes for sale in April 2020, down to 238 homes in April 2021, for a year-over-year decline of more than half. Homes in Lincoln were already selling fast last year, with the median number of days on market being 14 days in April 2020. By the end of April 2021, however, the median is a mere five days on the market before getting sold.
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