A typical home spent just one week on the market beforegoing under contract, according to a new report from the National Association of Realtors. Their annual Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers — “real estate’s definitive guide on home buyer and seller trends” — reported on the pace of home sales between July 2020 and June 2021.
By comparison, the average in 2012 was eleven weeks.
“Buyers moving quickly during the pandemic, coupled with all-time-low inventory, led to a decline in time on market to the shortest ever recorded, which was just one week,” said Jessica Lautz, vice president of demographics and behavioral insights at NAR. “Only a quarter of home sellers offered incentives to entice potential buyers, down from nearly half of all sellers the year prior.”
The 2021 NAR report also found that tenure in the home — the length of time an owner lives in a home — decreased to eight years from 10 years. “This is the largest single-year change in home tenure since NAR began collecting such data,” they report.
And not only did homes sell quickly, but they sold at their full asking price, driving the average sale price up to $305,000 from $272,500 year over year. It’s the first time the median price has hit the full asking price since NAR started tracking the data in 2002.
COVID is believed to be the engine driving all these trends. Lockdowns forced more people to use their homes as offices, sparking a move from apartments into larger living spaces. At the same time, a reluctance to show homes amid a pandemic and put-off relocation plans contributed to a pre-existing supply shortage.
“Home sellers have historically moved when something in their lives changed – a new baby, a marriage, a divorce, or a new job,” Lautz said. “The pandemic has impacted everyone, and for many, this became an impetus to sell and make a housing trade.”
The housing market is so hot it’s even serving the traditional Christmas chill. Many potential buyers and sellers don’t want to move during the holidays. But realtors report sales are still brisk. “In October, newly listed homes declined by 2.3% on a year-over-year basis and sellers are still listing at rates 11.6% lower than typical of 2017 to 2019 levels,” the NAR reports.
“Instead of a house lasting three days on the market, it’s lasting seven days,” real-estate agent Harold Torres told the Wall Street Journal.
Torres, who is based in Orlando, Fla., said for buyers, “negotiation and any type of wiggle room is not really there yet.”