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Home-Selling Speeds Down in December

Nationally, home-selling speeds slowed again in December, but many markets continue to see listings move at a brisk pace.

Redfin reports the median time on market for homes in its 21-city survey was 35 days in December, up three days from November. The median time on market in December 2012 was 30 days, according to the company.

Compared to November, only two of the tracked markets saw sales move faster: Ventura, California, where days on market fell by three to 24; and Houston, where days on market fell by one to 31.

Miami saw no monthly change in the amount of time homes spent on the market (48 days).

San Francisco and San Jose led the pack in market speed, with both cities posting a median market time of just 18 days. While that was a bit slower than November’s pace, it was still almost a week faster than Washington, D.C., and Ventura, where homes spent a median 24 days on the market.

The slowest market was Philadelphia; homes in the City of Brotherly Love spent a median 72 days listed before going under contract.

The company also followed the number of listings in each market that went under contract within two weeks in December—finding that many of the cities that slowed down overall were also the same ones to report a rise in these speedy sales.

“This means that even though nearly every area slowed down in December, as indicated by the number of days spent on market, segments within some markets sped up,” explained Redfin analyst Troy Martin.

Not surprisingly, San Jose saw an increase of nearly 5 percentage points in the number of homes under contract within 14 days of listing (up to 52 percent); the same wasn’t true for San Francisco, where 41.1 percent of homes were under contract that quickly (down from 42.7 percent).

Nationally, Redfin reports 20.8 percent of homes in all surveyed markets were under contract within two weeks, down from 21.5 percent in November and 21.2 percent in December 2012.

Since reaching 32.3 percent in April, the percentage of homes pending for sale within two weeks has declined steadily, according to Redfin’s data. December’s figure was the lowest for the year—but that trend is projected to turn around soon.

“In the coming months, we expect market speed to pick up across Redfin metros as the 2014 real estate season kicks off,” Martin said. “However, low inventories and the prospect for rising mortgage rates in 2014 have led some markets to speed up early.”


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