Homebuyers are spending less time looking for homes in 2019, compared to previous years, according to a study by Redfin.
The study, which analyzed home tours and offer activities among people who bought homes through Redfin agents over the past five years, indicated that it took the typical homebuyer three fewer days to close on their new home compared to last year. In February 2018, it took homebuyers 76 days to close on a home after their first home tour. The number had reached an all-time high in winter 2016 at 84 days.
Some of the factors responsible for homebuyers being able to close on their homes faster in 2019 compared to previous years included, a rise in housing supply, a slower growth rate of home prices, and a less competitive market, according to Redfin.
“This year, there are more homes for sale relative to the number of buyers, so a buyer is more likely to have their first offer accepted, while sellers are having to wait longer for their home to be sold,” said Daryl Fairweather, Chief Economist at Redfin. “It’s like a 1950s-era school dance with more boys than girls—the girls can quickly find a dancing partner, but more boys are waiting around with no one to dance with.”
In fact, sellers who are waiting longer to secure a buyer this year are being faced with less favorable conditions, the report noted. Nationwide, homes that sold in February spent a median 59 days on the market before going under contract, up two days from a year earlier, and following three consecutive years of acceleration.
The competition also seems to be shifting from West Coast markets to the East Coast, with buyers on the East Coast spending more time on the market this year than last year.
Regionally, Philadelphia (28 days faster); Houston (17 days); and Washington, D.C., (14 days) saw the biggest year-over-year drops in the number of days buyers spent on the market looking for a home. However, buyers in Miami (17 days longer) and New York (13 days) spent the longest time looking for homes.