Homes are spending less time on the market as supply conditions tighten, according to a report from the ""National Association of Realtors"":http://www.realtor.org/ (NAR) released Wednesday.[IMAGE]
The median time homes stayed listed was down 29.6 percent to 69 days in July compared to 98 days in July 2011. While the overall median is down, the report stated one in five homes bought in July stayed on the market for at least six months.
At the current sales pace, it would take 6.4 months to clear the supply of homes available as of the end of July, a 31.2 percent decrease from a year ago when there was a 9.3-month supply.[COLUMN_BREAK]
""As inventory has tightened homes have been selling more quickly,"" said Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, who noted the trend began this spring.
""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,"" Yun added.
The report also pointed out a relationship between research in NAR's Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers and sets of data in the existing-home sales series.
When the existing-home sales series hovered around a 6-month supply of homes, which is considered to be the norm, the median selling time was slightly above six weeks in the home buyer and seller series.
In balanced market conditions, NAR said it's typical to see prices rise by 1 to 2 percentage points above the rate of inflation as measured by the Consumer Price Index.
Looking ahead, Yun said, ""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.""