Home sellers still have the upper hand in the housing market and there are no signs that this is going to change any time soon.
Inventory is still way down and competition remains stiff for homes that are on the market. January was the 28th consecutive month that the volume of homes for sale dropped in the U.S., with that number down by 14.4% from January 2017, according to a recent article by Redfin.
Many Home Sellers Getting More than Listing Price
This means home sellers are often getting multiple offers and getting good prices, sometimes more than their asking prices. In January close to 20% of homes sold for more than their what sellers original listed.
Home prices are also continuing to go up in general. They rose this January by 7.8% from the year before, the report said, with the national median sale price at $280,500.
Prices rose the highest in Memphis, Tennessee, increasing by 24.6% over January 2017. Memphis was followed by two California cities: San Francisco (23.8%) and San Jose (21.6%); Baton Rouge, Louisiana (17.8%) and Seattle, Washington (15.4%).
Prices did slightly drop in four metros in January. These included Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Camden, New Jersey; Birmingham, Alabama and Baltimore, Maryland.
Homes Selling Faster than Ever
The average home was only on the market 53 days before a buyer was found, compared to 59 days in January 2017. But homes sold much faster in some markets. In San Jose, deemed the fastest market in the country, about 50% of homes that sold in January were under contract in just 12 days.
Many buyers are reportedly anxious to purchase before interest rates get any higher; however, one Redfin agent from Washington D.C. was quoted in the article as saying that inventory is even a greater driver than rates right now.
Because of the shortage of homes on the market, sales volume was still down for January in most areas of the country. However, 11 metros did see sales growth compared to a year ago. The top three were Salt Lake City, up 11.9%; Greenville, South Carolina, up 11.8%, and Kansas City, Missouri, up 7.5%. The three metros with the biggest declines in sales volume were all in Michigan in Detroit, Grand Rapids and Warren.
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