Five-Month Home-Selling Slowdown Flattens in September with 26.6 Percent of Homes Selling in Two Weeks or Less

Real-Time Research

Five-Month Home-Selling Slowdown Flattens in September with 26.6 Percent of Homes Selling in Two Weeks or Less

Sales within Two Weeks Dropped from 33.4 Percent in April to 26 Percent in August; then Late-September Mortgage Interest Rate Decrease Caused Buyers to Pick up the Pace

After five straight months of decline, national home-selling speed flattened out in September. Such an about-face is not surprising to us here at Redfin, as we anticipated the change in last month’s report. Across 23 metro areas, 26.6 percent of homes went under contract within two weeks of their list date, a slight boost from 26.0 percent in August, halting the market’s steady deceleration trend since April.The reason for the change is almost certainly the drop in mortgage interest rates in late September after the Fed decided not to touch the stimulus program.

* Due to temporary data irregularities, Fastest Markets data in September changed slightly. See updated September 2013 chart and table at the bottom of this report.

In Seattle, Redfin agent KC Brants noticed an uptick in buyer pace in response to falling mortgage rates. “In late September, homes were going under contract within hours,” she explained. “To handle the surge in demand, some sellers implemented offer-review deadlines–a tactic I hadn’t seen since early summer.”

Good news for buyers, bad news for sellers, the increased speed trend will not likely continue. “Despite sustained lower mortgage rates,” said Ellen Haberle, Redfin economist, “market speed probably will fall again in October because of buyer uncertainty related to the government shutdown and debt ceiling battle.”

The Redfin Fastest Markets Report ranks 23 markets across the country measured by the percentage of homes that go under contract within two weeks of their debut. The metrics include single-family homes, condos and townhomes listed in the Multiple Listing Service (MLS).

Las Vegas and Atlanta Accelerate; Phoenix and Sacramento Catch Their Breath

Overall Fastest/Slowest:

  • San Jose remained the fastest-moving market, a position it has held since December 2011. In September, 47.6% of listings there went under contract within two weeks, a nearly six-point jump from its August speed of 41.9%.
  • Philadelphia was again the slowest market, a title it has held since May. Just 7.4% of Philly-area homes went under contract within two weeks in September, a slight boost from 6.7% in August.

Notable Speed Changes:

  • Las Vegas saw the biggest month-over-month increases in market speed, with an 8.7 point increase in the rate of homes going under contract within 14 days.
  • Phoenix slowed the most from August to September, with a 4.6 percentage point drop in the rate of homes going under contract within two weeks of their market debut.
  • Atlanta sped up the most year over year, with a 19.8 point increase from September 2012.
  • Sacramento had the biggest year-over-year speed deceleration, with a rate drop of 9.1 percentage points.

Table 1: Percent of New Listings Under Contract in 2 weeks, September 2013

Speed Ranking Market September 2013 August 2013 September 2012
#1 San Jose, CA 47.6% 41.9% 51.8%
#2 San Francisco, CA 42.3% 41.4% 44.7%
#3 Ventura, CA 34.8% 35.9% 42.0%
#4 Austin, TX 32.9% 33.4% 23.1%
#5 Seattle, WA 32.3% 31.6% 30.4%
#6 Sacramento, CA 31.5% 31.9% 40.6%
#7 Washington, D.C. 31.3% 32.1% 29.9%
#8 San Diego, CA 30.5% 29.8% 34.5%
#9 Los Angeles, CA 30.4% 30.5% 35.0%
#10 Riverside, CA 29.5% 30.4% 33.2%
#11 Boston, MA 29.4% 21.6% 12.8%
#12 Portland, OR 28.6% 28.0% 26.2%
#13 Dallas, TX 28.6% 27.6% 19.7%
#14 Denver, CO 27.8% 25.2% 21.6%
#15 Houston, TX 26.7% 28.0% 18.2%
#16 Las Vegas, NV 24.6% 15.9% 7.9%
#17 Phoenix, AZ 24.0% 28.6% 31.6%
#18 Atlanta, GA 22.3% 26.2% 2.5%
#19 Chicago, IL 22.1% 23.5% 15.7%
#20 Miami, FL 22.1% 20.5% 7.4%
#21 Baltimore, MD 19.2% 19.0% 17.2%
#22 Raleigh, NC 19.2% 11.2% 7.6%
#23 Philadelphia, PA 7.4% 6.7% 5.1%
23 Markets 26.6% 26.0% 22.4%

*Additional market-by-market data is available for download here:

Updated September Fastest Markets Chart

*UPDATED Table 1: Percent of New Listings Under Contract in 2 weeks, September 2013

Speed Ranking Market September 2013 August 2013 September 2012
#1 San Jose, CA 46.5% 41.5% 51.8%
#2 San Francisco, CA 41.2% 41.2% 44.7%
#3 Boston, MA 40.1% 32.8% 13.8%
#4 Dallas, TX 32.6% 30.6% 19.8%
#5 Austin, TX 32.4% 33.8% 23.1%
#6 Ventura, CA 32.0% 35.1% 41.7%
#7 Chicago, IL 31.7% 30.5% 16.5%
#8 Washington, D.C. 31.4% 32.1% 29.8%
#9 Seattle, WA 31.1% 31.3% 30.4%
#10 Las Vegas, NV 30.1% 24.4% 9.3%
#11 Sacramento, CA 29.3% 30.4% 40.6%
#12 San Diego, CA 29.0% 28.8% 34.5%
#13 Los Angeles, CA 29.0% 29.8% 34.9%
#14 Portland, OR 28.9% 29.6% 27.1%
#15 Phoenix, AZ 27.4% 30.7% 31.6%
#16 Riverside, CA 27.1% 29.4% 33.1%
#17 Houston, TX 25.5% 27.4% 18.2%
#18 Miami, FL 24.6% 22.6% 7.2%
#19 Denver, CO 24.1% 23.6% 21.2%
#20 Atlanta, GA 22.2% 21.3% 4.5%
#21 Raleigh, NC 22.1% 17.3% 7.9%
#22 Baltimore, MD 19.3% 19.1% 17.3%
#23 Philadelphia, PA 7.2% 6.6% 5.1%
23 Markets 28.1% 27.7% 22.7%

More information about our metrics:
Pending in Two Weeks: The percentage of new listings that were pending (under contract to sell to a buyer) within two weeks of their listing date.
Pending in One Week: The percentage of new listings that were pending (under contract to sell to a buyer) within one week.
Pending in One Day: The number of new listings that were pending (under contract to sell to a buyer) within one day.

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