Real Estate

Real estate markets show signs of slowing down

A few key markets buck the trend

There was a point in April when 32% of homes on the market sold within two weeks or less, according to data from Redfin. At this point, buyers were making offers within 5 minutes of seeing a home, often far above list price, and still getting stuck in bidding wars. As a buyer, it was a helpless time.

The market had completely shifted in favor of sellers. The competition was shocking, especially considering where the market had come from. In July 2011, only 12.6% of homes went off the market within two weeks of being listed.

However, multiple reports suggest the market may be leveling out now. The latest Redfin report claims only 29.2% of homes are selling within 14 days, still a relatively high number, but clearly returning to pre-bubble norms.

fastest moving markets

“Our agents have told us that this spring was particularly brutal if you were looking for a home,” Rachel Musiker, a spokeswoman for Redfin, told HousingWire.

Musiker noted that many buyers that were looking to buy in recent months have thrown in the towel and hopped off the market, contributing to the slight slowdown.

“Our agents are definitely expecting those people to come back into the market as we move into the new school year,” she said. “People are just taking a step back.”

However, not all markets are seeing a slowdown. “We did our report on 23 different markets,” noted Musiker, who added that some markets saw more of a slowdown than others.

Bill Head, communications director at the MetroTex Association of Realtors, said North Texas is seeing quite the opposite. Since January, homes in the Metroplex are spending less and less time on the market. In January, the average days on the market for a home was 74 and has continued falling to 49 in July.

“It really hasn’t slowed down much,” Head said.

According to Head, low inventory has been creating a competitive market, with multiple offers in many cases, and homes are selling for above list price more often than not.

“We’re at 3.3 months of inventory, which is definitely an unbalanced market,” he said.

Surprisingly, there has been an increase in the number of active listings in the MLS at 24,439 listings in July — the highest number since October 2012. January was the lowest month for active listings, as they fell to 21,905 listings. Year-over-year, however, active listings dropped 16% from 29,158 in July 2012. In July 2011, there were 36,733 active listings. However, this doesn't seem to be yielding the competition.

“We’re not seeing much in the way of slowdown for sure,” said Head.

So with the North Texas market bucking the trend of slowing markets, there have to be markets that are causing the overall numbers to appear as if a slowdown is in effect.

“Our most competitive markets, and the markets that had been moving the fastest over the spring month, really have been slowing: San Francisco, Washington D.C., Seattle, and the Southern California Market," Musiker with Redfin explained.

Philadelphia was the slowest-moving market, with only 6.5% of homes under contract within two weeks, down from 7.3% in June.

3d rendering of a row of luxury townhouses along a street

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