Sales are quickening their pace as the time to sell a home decreases and falls more in line with a “balanced” housing market, according to new research by the National Association of REALTORS®.
The median time a home listed for sale was on the market in July was 69 days, down from 98 days one year earlier. Broken down further, one-third of homes purchased in July were on the market for less than a month, and one in five of homes purchased in July were on the market for at least six months.
“As inventory has tightened homes have been selling more quickly,” says Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. “A notable shortening of time-on-market began this spring, and this has created a general balance between home buyers and sellers in much of the country. This equilibrium is supporting sustained price growth, and homes that are correctly priced tend to sell quickly, while those that aren’t often languish on the market.”
By the end July, a 6.4-month supply of homes were on the market at the current sales pace. That is 31.2 percent below year-ago levels, when there was a 9.3-month supply.
With supplies of homes tighter, economists expect home prices to continue their trend upward.
“Our current forecast is for the median existing home price to rise 4.5 to 5 percent this year and about 5 percent in 2013, which is somewhat stronger than historic norms because of the inventory shortfall that is most pronounced in the low price ranges.