Homes Selling as Fast as They Did During Housing Boom
Diana Olick | AOL | May 29, 2013 | link
Strong demand and still limited supply mean homes are now selling nearly three times as fast as they normally would. The average number of days a listing stayed on the market in April was 46, down from 62 in March and down from the normal pace of 90-120 days, according to the National Association of Realtors.
“I have a seller, his house came on, he got a full-price offer, and he refused to take it because he wanted multiples. Really?” asked Jane Fairweather, a real estate agent in Montgomery County Maryland, a suburb of Washington, D.C. Fairweather said homes in her market are selling in an average of 23 days because inventories are way down and demand is strong. The number of listings in Montgomery County were down 41 percent in April from 2011. In April of 2011, one third of the listings went under contract. In April of this year, 67 percent went under contract.
“I don’t think it’s a boom we have to worry about because this is all about low interest rates and low inventory,” noted Fairweather. “This is not about easy money. The standards for borrowing are still very tight.”
The sales pace is back to what it was during the housing boom in 2005 and 2006, but the circumstances are of course very different. Back then it was all about easy money, and now it’s about stiff competition for limited supply. “We need to see home builders increase production,” said Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the NAR, in a press conference. “We need a 50 percent increase in starts.”