The home market is heating up as we move into the spring buying season. According to a report from Realtor.com, this year’s market is especially important, as it will indicate whether the recent slowdown in home prices was temporary or not.
Moving into spring, Realtor.com noted in which cities homes are selling the most, painting a bigger picture of the state of the market. The report lists the cities that are experiencing the fastest sales, as well as the cities that are falling behind in sales. Additionally, Realtor.com found that while for the past four consecutive years, the length of time it took to sell a home fell, this year, that time stayed steady year over year at 83 days, indicating a slowdown.
San Jose, with a median home price of 1.1 million, saw the shortest amount of time on the market of any U.S. city, with a median number of days on the market of around 30 days. "Santa Clara County [home to San Jose] was probably the hottest, most competitive market in the country. However, since midsummer 2018 it became the market in the [San Francisco] Bay Area that cooled off the most,” said Patrick Carlisle, Bay Area Chief Marketing Analyst at the real estate firm Compass.
Realtor.com noted that home prices fell by nearly 10 percent year over year in San Jose, over $100,000, while the number of homes on the market increased by 124 percent. Other cities to see time on the market shorter than the national median included Salt Lake City, Seattle, and Denver, each with between 37 and 40 median days on the market.
Meanwhile, Brownsville in Texas, experienced a much more relaxed pace of home sales, with a median number of nearly days on the market, as well as a more comfortable median home price of $200,000. Realtor.com notes that this may be due in part to lower wages in this city, slowing buying decisions.
The churn is leading to opportunities—and challenges—for eager home buyers, said Danielle Hale, Chief Economist at realtor.com. "In a lot of these markets, you can probably negotiate on price more than you could a year ago. But it cuts both ways: In a fast-moving market, you need to move quickly. A home you saw one week might be gone the next," Hale added.
Other slower-to-sell cities include Claremont, New Hampshire, Houma, Louisiana, and Salisbury, Maryland.
Read the full report here.