Homes selling faster in the US than a year ago, latest research shows

Homes are selling faster across the United States than a year ago with those in San Francisco Bay, Sacramento and Dallas selling faster than elsewhere.

Overall the data from real estate firm Zillow shows that in September the median time on the market was 86 days, down 30 days from 116 days in September 2012.

In San Francisco they sold in 48 days, in Sacramento 59 days and in Dallas 60 days. Indeed 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 which was 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 fuelled by huge resets in home prices since market peak, historically low mortgage rates and a slowly improving broader economic climate,’ said Zillow chief economist 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,’ he explained.

‘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,’ he added.

Meanwhile the 2013 report on home buyers and sellers from the National Association of Realtors shows that consumers are embracing new technology when it comes to finding a home.

Some 56% of buyers start their home search online, 43% found the home they ultimately purchased online and 92% used the internet at some point during their search process.

The research also found that 45% of recent buyers used a mobile or tablet website or application during their home search and among those who did 22% found the home they purchased online.