Nationally, the time an average house spent on the market hovered at around six weeks all winter. But the cold didn’t stop buyers from snapping up houses in some hot markets. In three cities, in fact, the average home sold in less than two weeks all season, according to analytics company Clear Capital.
Lincoln, Neb., Denver, Colo., and Raleigh, N.C., all saw homes being snapped up in less than a fortnight this winter, Clear Capital reported. And the West Coast cities of San Francisco, San Jose, Freson, Portland and Seattle all saw homes selling in an average of three weeks.
And those sales could pick up even more with the spring selling season getting underway.
“Along with an increase in temperatures, the spring season also brings out the buyers and an increase in demand to the housing market, which most often translates to faster price growth and a decrease in marketing times,” said Alex Villacorta, vice president of research and analytics at Clear Capital. ”But what’s great news for homeowners – particularly those looking to get out of negative equity or sell outright – is unfortunately bad news for prospective buyers.”
The spring’s spike in demand is likely to put the squeeze on buyers in areas where homes’ time on the market is already vanishingly small, Villacorta said.
“This situation, coupled with the already precarious affordability situation for buyers, can lead to a self-fulfilling prophecy of sorts for the market as a whole, one where buyers rush to purchase homes at or above asking price in fear of waiting too long and losing out – pushing prices up and pulling market times even lower,” she said. “Buyers will need to remain vigilant this spring and constantly keep their eyes peeled for new supply entering the market, and most importantly be wary of rushing to purchase at sky-high prices.”
Existing home sales drop in February