Have the stay-at-home orders convinced you it's time to buy a house, or upgrade to a bigger one? You're not alone — a new report from Zillow shows that Houston homes are flying off the market at their fastest pace in more than two years.
For the week ending June 13, it only took a median of 26 days for a Houston home to go from "available" to "pending." That's three fewer days than the same time last year, as well as nine fewer from the same week in May 2020. To show just how quickly the market is moving, it's even four days less than the week before (ending June 6, 2020).
Inventory is still low thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, with buyers in May finding themselves competing over the smallest pool of inventory on record for that month in years. But as "the new normal" begins to take hold, it seems that buyers are now eager to make up for lost time with speedy offers.
Surprisingly, Houston is lagging behind the rest of the country when it comes to red-hot real estate.
In mid-June, the typical home sold in the U.S. had an offer accepted 22 days after it was listed. That's as fast as homes have sold since early June 2018, when they typically sold in 21 days. Even at the slowest point of the spring — in late May — that national number only climbed to 31 days, just six days slower than late May last year.
"Buyers shopping today might expect to be welcomed by desperate sellers, but they'll instead discover houses selling like hotcakes in the speediest market in recent memory," says Zillow economist Jeff Tucker. "The market did slow down in April, but anyone shopping this summer needs to be prepared to keep up with the lightning-quick pace of sales today.
"The question is whether the tempo will slow after buyers finish playing catch-up from planned spring moves, or if this fast-paced market will stay hot thanks to continued low interest rates and buyers scrambling over record-low summer inventory."
Home sales are still moving relatively quickly around the Lone Star State, especially in Austin. Homes there are moving within 12 days a change of three days from 2019, three days from May, and one day from the previous week.
In San Antonio, it took a median 32 days for listings to move to pending. That's down two days from last year, down four days from last month, and no change from the week before.
Dallas-Fort Worth homes are only available for 28 days — one day fewer than last year, six days fewer from last month, and two days fewer than even the week ending June 6.
Homes are selling the fastest — in only five days — in Columbus, Ohio. Cincinnati, Ohio (six days); Kansas City, Missouri (six days); Seattle (seven days), and Indianapolis (seven days) are just behind. Pittsburgh has seen the most dramatic acceleration of late, with sellers typically accepting an offer 17 days sooner than at this time last year and 40 days sooner than a month ago.
The slowest market by some margin is New York, where homes are typically spending 70 days on the market before an offer is accepted, more than three weeks longer than at this time last year. Miami (55 days) and Atlanta (38 days) are the next slowest.
Zillow points out that more homes are coming onto the market — new listings are up 14 percent nationally month-over-month — showing that sellers appear to be gaining confidence in buyer demand. Inventory remains incredibly tight and sales are happening quickly, so buyers should be prepared to move fast when they find a home they're interested in.