Homes Selling Faster As Buyer Outspace Supply

by Julie Schmit, USA TODAY

Updated: 03/17/2013 07:08am

Homes sold faster last month than in any February since 2007 as eager buyers met a tight supply of homes for sale, industry figures show.

Homes were on the market for a median of 98 days last month, down from 123 days in February 2011, according to That means half the homes listed for sale in February were on the market for less than 98 days and half for more than that.

Even 98 days is long for many markets.

In Oakland, homes spent just 14 days on the market last month before they went under contract or were pulled off for other reasons, data show. In Sacramento — just 21 days.

"Things are flying off the market," says Barbara Hendrickson, of Red Oak Realty in Berkeley, Calif., near Oakland.

While eight of the 10 fastest-moving markets were in California, Denver and Seattle made the top 10, too, with median market times of 28 and 33 days, respectively, says.

Nearly all of the markets with low median market times are also seeing big declines in homes listed for sale.

The average dropoff was 48% from a year earlier in the markets with the greatest declines in supply. Most were in California. That compared with a 16% drop for 146 metropolitan regions for which has listing data.


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