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What Can Prices Tell Us About Today’s Buyers?

Home prices are rising. That’s no surprise to anyone who’s been looking to buy or sell a home. In this market, there are more buyers than homes for sale and the imbalance has been pushing prices higher for months. In fact, according to the S&P Case-Shiller Home Price Indices – considered among the leading measures of U.S. home values – price growth broke records again in May. In other words, this year’s housing market has been hot. But, according to Craig J. Lazzara, managing director and global head of index investment strategy at S&P, home-price data also says something about buyers’ priorities. “We have previously suggested that the strength in the U.S. housing market is being driven in part by reaction to the COVID pandemic, as potential buyers move from urban apartments to suburban homes,” Lazzara said. “May’s data continues to be consistent with this hypothesis. This demand surge may simply represent an acceleration of purchases that would have occurred anyway over the next several years. Alternatively, there may have been a secular change in locational preferences, leading to a permanent shift in the demand curve for housing.” (source)