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Upheaval in the U.S. housing market

Tracking higher prices and lower supply state by state

In 2020, being confined at home—say, with children or new work requirements—may have changed people’s housing preferences. At least temporarily. New demand for space has led to a rush on single-family homes and, naturally, a stronger-than-usual increase in prices.

Our GeoFRED map above shows that price increases were unequal across the U.S. states from 2019:Q4 to 2020:Q4. California had among the smallest price increases, while the Mountain West region and to some extent the South had strong increases.

The supply of housing can’t easily accommodate increases in demand, especially when they’re sudden. It takes time to buy land, plan, and build. Also, construction costs have been higher because of pandemic restrictions, shortages in materials, and increased demand. This has all translated in a dramatic decrease in the number of houses up for sale.

The GeoFRED map below shows how much that housing inventory has decreased in each state from February 2020 to February 2021. It looks remarkably similar to the above map. Quite a few states have less than half the inventory for sale from a year prior.

How these maps were created: The original post referenced interactive maps from our now discontinued GeoFRED site. The revised post provides replacement maps from FRED’s new mapping tool. To create FRED maps, go to the data series page in question and look for the green “VIEW MAP” button at the top right of the graph. See this post for instructions to edit a FRED map. Only series with a green map button can be mapped.

Suggested by Christian Zimmermann.

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