US Homes Sell A Month Faster Than A Year Ago

Posted by Sam Goodwin on Nov 18, 2013 11:02 AM EST
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Sales of pending homes in the United States saw a steep rise in May. It was coupled with lower mortgage rates and increased inventory speeding up the market. (Photo : Reuters)

U.S. homes remained on the "for sale" list a month lesser this September than it did the same time last year, according to a Zillow report.

According to the report, properties listed for sale this September spent an average of 86 days on real estate websites compared to 116 days last September. Properties listed in all 30 of the largest metros in the country sold faster this September compared to last year with properties listed in San Francisco Bay Area remaining listed for the fewest number of days (48 days), followed by Sacramento, Calif. (59 days); and Dallas (60 days).

"The declining inventory of for-sale homes over the past year naturally creates pressure for buyers to more quickly snap up the inventory that is on the market. This demand has been fueled by huge resets in home prices since market peak, historically low mortgage rates and a slowly improving broader economic climate," said Zillow Chief Economist Dr. Stan Humphries in a press statement.

In the analysis, Zillow took into consideration homes that were listed, removed and then relisted to get a correct calculation on the average numbers of day a property stayed listed for sale. They concluded that since the beginning of 2010, homes stated listed for an average of 119 days on Zillow before being sold or removed from the market for good.

Humphries speculates that one reason for this could be because construction of new properties is taking place at a slower rate as builders have more or less exhausted their supply of ready-to-build parcels and now have to entitle new land which can be a lengthy process. This has made "for sale" properties all the more scarce, leading to people looking to buy properties take purchasing decisions quicker.

"Home shoppers in today's environment need to be prepared to move quickly, with pre-approvals in place and an established sense of what they're willing to pay for a home. But even though things are moving fast, buyers should resist the urge to enter into bidding wars or pay prices they're uncomfortable with. We do expect that this need for speed will abate in the near-term as mortgage rates rise and more inventory becomes available because of new construction and declining negative equity," he said.

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