Homes today spend a median time of three weeks on the market—far shorter than the median of 11 weeks five years ago, according to new data from the National Association of REALTORS®. “The inventory shortage and the growing economy and job creation has increased the interest in home buying,” says NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. “There is just not enough inventory; people need to fight over the few homes available on the market.”
Historically, about 1.2 million new homes are built every year, but this year, only about 800,000 have been constructed. “It’s been below that in prior years, and in the past decade, greatly lower than that,” Yun says. “Today’s shortage is largely explained by a decade of underproduction.”
Some markets are so hot that even three weeks is too long for a home to sit. “If we make it three weeks in our market, there is something wrong,” Boston-area real estate agent Darlene Umina told CNNMoney. “These days, you know within the first weekend whether the price was right.” Umina says she hosted an open house earlier this year that resulted in 18 offers on the home. Three of those offers were cash.
In San Francisco, real estate pro Erin Thomas says she’s had buyers arrive at open houses and submit an offer on the spot. She also says offers above the list price and without contingencies are becoming more commonplace.