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The uneven cooling of the real estate market

There are lots of ways to measure how hot the real estate market is. One is how long houses remain on the market. FRED has such measures for the median house in each state. Above, the FRED map displays this measure for March 2023, the latest month available at the time of this writing. Instead of displaying the raw measure, we show how it changed compared with a year ago.

In general (although there are always local exceptions), it has become more difficult to sell a house. But the map shows great variation. Just hover over the states to see the scores.

For example, West Virginia added only 5 days to its median time-on-market measure, and Ohio and Illinois added 6 days. But Maine added 47 days, North Dakota 44, and Vermont 43. Looking at regional changes, the real estate market cooled relatively little in the Midwest, while it slowed down markedly in the Mountain states.

Why are we seeing these differences? Real estate markets are complex and influenced by several factors, such as how the local economy is doing, financial markets, migration patterns, and lately how people handle changes in work patterns. Isolating these effects, of course, takes more research than simply looking at a map.

How this map was created: Search FRED for “Median days on market” and click on the series for any state. Click on “View graph” and then “Edit graph,” where you can change the units to the level change from a year ago.

Suggested by Christian Zimmermann.

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