Since 1987, NAR’s Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers has tracked the number of weeks on the market a home is listed.
In 2014 and 2015, homes sold on the market at a median of four weeks. This is the shortest time homes have sold on the market in the last twenty years. In 2001, 2004, and 2005 at the height of the housing market, homes also sold within a month of being listed. The last two years—2014 and 2015—the time on market declined due to a lack of inventory for available homes.
As the market downturn began in parts of the country, the median time on market for homes started to creep up to six weeks and later to eight weeks in 2006 and 2008 respectively. More distressed homes were put on the market and there were fewer buyers, pushing the time up. By 2009, homes sold at a median of 10 weeks. This was partly attributed to the U.S. government’s cash infusion issued to first-time home buyers in the form of a tax credit, spurring more buyers into the market and pushing up demand.
In the consecutive two years in 2010 and 2011, the median weeks on market drops back down eight and nine weeks respectively as investors jumped in to snatch up cheaper properties, often competing with first-time home buyers. Time on market then hit a peak in 2012 at eleven weeks. This number falls drastically to five weeks the following year in 2013, indicating tight inventory, tight credit availability, and a lack of new construction of homes to keep up with demand.
To follow this series as we discuss the findings of 35 years of profile data, check out the hashtag #NARHBSat35 on your social channels. NAR Research will be releasing trend line data since 1981 to celebrate 35 years of home buyer and seller demographic research.