House inventory rising
Illustration by Lanette Behiry/Real Estate News

Some good news for homebuyers: Listings are up 

A Zillow report found that new listings rose by 4% in August, an atypical late-summer boost that may offer buyers a few fresh options.

September 12, 2023
3 minutes

Key points:

  • The increase in new listings is welcome news for buyers, though overall inventory still remains low.
  • The report noted that the 2023 market peaked around May and June, with more homes now seeing price cuts and fewer homes selling over ask.
  • In the last year, home values improved the most across metros in the Northeast and Midwest, with Hartford and Milwaukee topping the list.

While the market is still certainly challenging to buyers, Zillow's latest housing market report brings some much-welcomed news for frustrated home shoppers. 

In August, sellers listed about 4% more homes than they did in July. It's a bit of an atypical trend for more listings to hit the market at the end of summer, Zillow economist Jeff Tucker suggested in the report, though it doesn't exactly indicate a shift toward a buyers market. 

"This unusual late-summer boost to supply should help to ease market conditions even more than the seasonal cooldown expected at this time of year," Tucker wrote. "Total inventory remains low, but it bears watching to see if this marks the start of some modest relief for the bone-dry listings drought that began in earnest in July 2022."

While new listings were up 4% month-over-month, total inventory was only up 2.2%. And compared to the same time a year ago, there were about 13% fewer active listings this August — but that was a significant improvement over July, which saw inventory fall nearly 27% year-over-year.

The report noted that this year's market peaked around May and June, and price growth has since been slowing. Slightly fewer homes sold over their asking price in July compared to June, and another positive indicator for buyers is the rising percentage of listings seeing price reductions: 23.4% in August versus 21.8% in July.

Northeast and Midwest metros saw biggest increases in home values

As with all national data, the regional breakdown reveals some winners and losers, but most metros are still seeing appreciation. The report found that of the top 50 metros across the U.S., 29 have higher home values today than they did a year ago. 

The markets posting the largest gains in the last year are Hartford, Connecticut, where home values are up by nearly 10%, followed by Milwaukee at 8.1%, Virginia Beach (5.7%), Philadelphia (5.5%), and Providence, Rhode Island (5.3%). Cincinnati, Cleveland, St. Louis and other major Midwest cities have seen home values rise by 4% or more in the last year.

Hot pandemic markets are still at the bottom of the pile for price appreciation. Austin home values are down 11.4% from a year ago, Zillow says, while New Orleans, Phoenix and Las Vegas have seen home prices dip by at least 6% in the same period. In total, 21 metros have seen home values drop in the last year.

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