Homes sold at their fastest pace in nearly two years, with the typical property on the market only 28 days in May, down from 32 in April, according to the latest from Redfin, the online real estate brokerage.
According to the report, in May 35.6% of homes went under contract within two weeks of their debut, just shy of the peak rate of 35.8% exactly two years ago.
Home sales across Redfin markets rose 5.4% in May from April and 3.1% from a year earlier. For the last three years there’s been a double-digit spike in homes sold; this year, an inventory shortage has kept a lid on that growth.
“Even as homes sold more quickly, May showed a significant slowdown in month-over-month price growth, up just 1.6%,” the report from Redfin Chief Economist Nela Richardson says. “That’s relatively low — in each of the past five years, prices rose at least 3% in May. Year over year, the median price was up 6% last month to almost $279,900, a marked drop from the 7.7% increase in April.”
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Redfin says that because of steady buyer demand, inventory has barely budged from last year’s low levels. The number of houses, condos and co-ops for sale in March and April grew by less than 1% year over year; they dipped slightly in May.
The composition of buyers — more traditional households and fewer investors — also has kept prices from surging at the double-digit rates seen in 2013.
Other May highlights include:
- San Francisco continued its stunning pace of price growth. Median prices accelerated 25% from a year ago, to $1.125 million. Prices in San Jose aren’t far behind, topping $900,000 for the first time, up nearly 19% year over year.
- Four more-affordable Florida markets also posted double-digit, year-over-year price growth: West Palm Beach (18.6%), Fort Myers (14.2%), Fort Lauderdale (13%) and Tampa (10.9%).
- Minneapolis posted the biggest year-over-year increase in home sales, up 15.8%. Sales surged 20.6% from April.
- Baltimore and Chicago also heated up in May. Home sales in Baltimore rose 13.6% from last month; in Chicago they increased 15.4%. Year over year, sales in Baltimore and Chicago were up 15.8% and 7.8%, respectively.
- Sales in San Jose plummeted an astounding 50.9% from last year. Month over month they fell 46.5% in May, the biggest drop in monthly home sales in at least six years.
For the full report, click here.