Homes for sale are taking longer to find buyers this January for the first time in three years. Typical home nationwide was on the market for 55 days, up from 54 last year.
Here’s another sign that the housing market is slowing down, literally: The median number of days homes for sale are spending on the market before going under contract is soaring in markets up and down the West Coast.
For the four-week period ending January 27, the median days on market for homes sold in the San Jose metro area was 45 days, up from just 12 days a year earlier. In Seattle it was 47 days, up from 15 a year prior, and Portland, Oregon hit 50 days, up from 28 a year ago.
While we are not seeing as dramatic a slowing trend nationwide, early 2019 marked the first January with year-over-year increase in days on market in three years. The typical home that sold during the four-week period ending January 27 took 55 days to find a buyer, up from 54 days a year earlier. Previously days on market had been declining every year since 2015, when the typical home took 71 days to find a buyer during the same period.
“Buyers this year don’t have the same sense of urgency that was palpable a year ago,” said Portland-based Redfin agent Daniel Brooks. “Buyers are not worried about losing out on homes and more than willing to wait for a seller to drop her price. With front-row seats to a rapidly changing market, 2019’s buyer is savvy and is adapting quickly to the new normal.”
The slowing pace of the market comes as good news for buyers who may have felt rushed in the overheated market last spring. As competition for homes eases, buyers now have more time to carefully consider what for many will be the largest purchase of their life.
We are approaching the midpoint of winter, when days on market typically begins to decline and fall dramatically through the spring. We will be watching to see if the same pattern holds this year. If days on market instead continues to rise or holds steady, it would be a signal that more market weakness is ahead in 2019.