U.S. homes selling 30 days faster compared to one year ago

Nationwide, homes listed for sale on real estate marketplace Zillow were selling a month faster in September than a year ago, according to a new analysis. In the U.S. as a whole, homes sold in September spent a median of 86 days on Zillow, down 30 days from 116 days in September 2012.

Among the 30 largest metro markets covered by Zillow in September, homes moved the fastest and spent the fewest days listed on Zillow in the San Francisco Bay Area (48 days); Sacramento, Calif. (59 days); and Dallas (60 days). Homes sold faster this September compared to last September in all 30 of the largest metros. Large metros where homes moved the fastest this year compared to last year include Las Vegas (44 days faster), Sacramento (43 days faster) and San Antonio (37 days faster).

Zillow calculated the median number of days listings spent on Zillow, at the national, metro and county levels, dating to January 2010. In order to correct for homes that are listed, then removed and re-posted with new prices, Zillow considered multiple listings within 40 days at the same address as one listing. Since the beginning of 2010, homes nationwide have spent a median of 119 days on Zillow before being sold or taken off the market.

"The declining inventory of for-sale homes over the past year naturally creates pressure for buyers to more quickly snap up the inventory that is on the market. This demand has been fueled by huge resets in home prices since market peak, historically low mortgage rates and a slowly improving broader economic climate," said Zillow Chief Economist Dr. Stan Humphries. "Home shoppers in today's environment need to be prepared to move quickly, with pre-approvals in place and an established sense of what they're willing to pay for a home. But even though things are moving fast, buyers should resist the urge to enter into bidding wars or pay prices they're uncomfortable with. We do expect that this need for speed will abate in the near-term as mortgage rates rise and more inventory becomes available because of new construction and declining negative equity."

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