Homes are selling faster in the majority of U.S. markets than they were a year ago, according to data released Tuesday. The report, which looked at the largest housing markets in the country, shows that compared to June 2011, the average number of days homes spend on the market has fallen by nearly 10%. In some areas, such as Oakland, Calif., the average days on market has decreased by nearly 50%.
According to the data, published by real estate trends site Realtor.com, the average U.S. home spent 84 days on the market last month. In 10 housing markets, homes spent 48 days or less on the market before being sold. In Oakland, homes spent just 24 days on market. Based on Realtor.com‘s report, 24/7 Wall St. identified the 10 cities where homes sell the fastest.
The metropolitan areas on this list tend to be in states that have been harder hit by the economic downturn. Five of the metropolitan areas are in California, which was sixth in 24/7 Wall St.’s recent list of states with the highest percentage of underwater mortgages. Another metro area is in Michigan, which ranked fifth in the underwater mortgage list, while yet another metro area is in Arizona, which had the second-highest rate of underwater mortgages.
The days houses spend on the market has declined precipitously in the past year. In all the markets on the list but one, the home’s time on the market has declined. The declines ranged from 14% to about 48%. Four of our 10 metro areas had among the largest declines in the average days houses spent on the market compared to last year.
Inventory as a whole has also dropped in all of the metro areas on our list, compared to the year-earlier period. The amount of available houses for sale fell from just over 4% in one metro area to nearly 58% in another. Seven of the areas had among the top 10 inventory decreases.
Metro areas with speedy home sales also had increases in median home prices compared to a year earlier. Four of the metro areas on this list are in the top 10 in terms of fastest growing median price listing, while seven of the metros on our list are in the top 20. No metro area on this list had a declining median price compared to last year.
However, there appears to be little relationship between how fast homes sell and the median home price itself. For example, San Francisco and San Jose made our list. Of all 146 metropolitan areas surveyed, these two had the highest and third-highest median home prices, respectively. Yet Detroit also made our list, despite having the lowest home price of all 146 metro areas.
Realtor.com provided information on the median age of inventory, total listings and median home values for June, along with the year-over-year change in each of these categories. Realtor.com also provided a rank of the metro areas most searched for on its website in June. Meanwhile, 24/7 Wall St. looked at several pieces of data from RealtyTrac to gain a broader context of the economic state of the metropolitan areas. In addition to looking at the metro area foreclosure rate in June, we looked at the unemployment rate for June and median family income as of the end of 2011 .
These are the 10 cities where homes sell the fastest.