The residential real estate market is recovering, and some key indicators are returning to pre-pandemic levels.

In an interview with Cincy Today, Kelly Meyer, president of the Cincinnati Area Board of Realtors, said the number of showings, or appointments to see homes, is back to the level of a year ago. The group tracks the number of showings as part of its ongoing gauge of the health of the real estate market.

In mid-March, when the economy essentially shut down, there was “a precipitous decline” of nearly 50% in showings. In early April, the trend in showings turned upward and “It’s now trending higher than we were in 2019,” Meyer says.

“We have completely recovered from our low in March in terms of the number of showings happening on a daily basis,” he says.

Two other key indicators—pending sales and closings—are lagging a bit, meaning potential homebuyers are kicking the tires a bit before buying. Meyer says he expects both of those indicators to return to pre-shutdown levels by the end of July.

The number of homes available remains low, despite the shutdown. “Our big problem, and it’s a nationwide issue, is we have very low inventory,” Meyer says. “Our inventory is at a historic low and keeps trending down.”

That has helped keep home prices propped up. In May, the average home price climbed to $238,994, compared to $231,499 a year earlier, a 3.2% increase, the Board of Realtors reported. The median price was $201,250, an increase of 5.37% from a year ago.

Home mortgage rates in May averaged 3.15% for a 30-year fixed rate loan. The rates were down compared to 3.99% a year ago.

“There are still the same number of buyers and sellers making it happen,” Meyer says.