Homes Are Selling Faster Than Ever — And That Might Not Be Good News

Homes Are Selling Faster Than Ever — And That Might Not Be Good News

Melissa Massello
Oct 31, 2017
(Image credit: Cathy Pyle)

Here today, gone in a matter of days: if you've been thinking of making an offer on a home for sale near you, don't delay. According a new report, US homes are sitting on the market for the shortest amount of time in nearly 30 years — a mere three weeks. Good news if you've been thinking of selling your home, for sure, but bad news because experts say that it may be a sign of something worse to come.

The National Association of Realtors yesterday published its annual report, showing that competition is stiffer than ever for homes that are in short supply, with the number of for-sale listings continuing to decline for the 28th consecutive month. The typical home spent just three weeks on the market, according to the report (featured on Bloomberg), which was down from four weeks in the year ending June 2016 and 11 weeks in 2012, when the U.S. housing market was still reeling from the foreclosure crisis. It was the shortest time since the NAR report began including data on how long homes spend on the market, in 1987.

Additionally, the report showed a continuing decline in home sales to first-time home buyers and married couples, while home sales to single females increased for the third straight year. Among those who are purchasing homes study, 42 percent paid at least the listing price for their homes, if not over asking, the highest percentage since 2007 (when NAR started keeping track of this statistic).

Some say it's an indication of slow home construction, which was only exacerbated further by the damage caused by recent hurricanes as workers now have to spend additional time on rebuilding efforts as opposed to new construction projects.

Others, like Fannie Mae chief economist Doug Duncan, say the shortage is a telltale sign that happens "before there's a downturn," according to the Wall Street Journal.

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