This year is poised to have the fastest-paced housing market on record, as the average home sold and went under contract within just 49 days in March, according to Redfin. It was the fastest March recorded in seven years.
In March 2016, the median time on market was 60 days, but this year, many homes sold in just a third of that time. Redfin’s data shows that 19 percent of homes sold in March were under contract within two weeks.
The fastest moving markets were Denver and Seattle, which saw the average home go under contract in just eight days. Following close behind were Oakland and San Jose, California. Homes in these markets went under contract in 13 to 14 days on average.
But days on market aren’t the only things gaining ground this year. Across the nation, home prices rose 7.5 percent in March—hitting a median sales price of $273,000 for the month. Grand Rapids, Michigan, saw the highest growth in prices, with a 16.3 percent jump over the year. Orlando and Tampa, Florida, Seattle, and Santa Rosa, California, also saw healthy price growth.
March also saw more than 21 percent of homes sell for more than their listing price—likely a result of rising prices and tight supply. In San Jose, nearly 70 percent of homes sold above asking price. San Francisco saw homes sell above list price about 66 percent of the time. Oakland, California, and Seattle and Tacoma, Washington, also saw large portions of its inventory sell above listing price.
Redfin Agent Adrienne Kieschnick said the competitive market is forcing buyers to up their game to really stand out to sellers.
“Many sellers are attempting to time the sale of their home while also trying to find a replacement home in a competitive market,” Kieschnick said. “The easier you make the seller’s life, the more attractive your offer becomes.”
She suggests offering a 60-day rent-back to make the offer more appealing. Tiffany Aquino, a Redfin agent from Virginia, said getting pre-approved can also do the trick.
“The best offers come from buyers who are pre-approved by a local lender with a strong reputation for speed and reliability,” Aquino said. “If I’ve worked with the lender before and know they can fund the loan and close on time, I am sure to highlight that for my client.”
But despite the jump in pricing and lacking inventory, sales are still on the rise. They jumped 8.9 percent over the year, according to Redfin, and 32 out of 90 metros saw their sales increase by double-digits. Poughkeepsie, New York, saw the most annual sales growth, rising 41 percent over 2016.