Top 10 Fastest-Moving Housing Markets

The market is moving more quickly than it was a year ago

Jul 19, 2014 at 8:22AM

If you’re looking for a house in one of California’s largest metropolitan areas, you’d better be ready to act fast when you see the right opportunity. A recent study of the nation’s fastest housing markets reveals that in some cities, the market is moving more quickly than it was a year ago. The study, conducted in April by Jed Kolko, Trulia’s Chief Economist, measured the number of houses that had been on the market for at least two months, from February 14, 2014 to April 14, 2014. This number helps gauge how quickly homes are selling.

Trulia’s Top 10 Fastest-Moving Housing Markets

# U.S. Metro

Share of homes still for sale after being listed for at least two months, mid-April 2014

Share of homes still for sale after being listed for at least two months, mid-April 2013

Difference in share still for sale, 2014 vs 2013

Asking prices, Y-o-Y % Change, March 2014

1 Oakland, CA

29%

31%

-2%

22.7%

2 San Jose, CA

31%

35%

-4%

13.4%

3 San Francisco, CA

32%

36%

-4%

15.1%

4 Denver, CO

38%

47%

-8%

9.6%

5 San Diego, CA

41%

45%

-4%

14.0%

6 Seattle, WA

43%

49%

-6%

11.2%

7 Los Angeles, CA

44%

40%

4%

17.0%

8 Orange County, CA

45%

38%

6%

14.9%

9 Sacramento, CA

45%

41%

4%

22.2%

10 Middlesex County, MA

46%

52%

-6%

7.3%

Note: Among the 100 largest U.S. metros. The two-month shares and the difference are rounded to the nearest percentage point, and the difference was calculated before rounding; therefore, the rounded difference might not equal the difference between the rounded shares. To download the findings for the 100 largest U.S. metros, click here.

The lightning-quick housing market in San Francisco has been in the news for months, but Oakland and San Jose both reported an even faster market. In Oakland, just 29 percent of the homes for sale in mid February were still looking for a buyer two months later, compared with 55 percent nationally. Southern California also made the top ten list, with speedy sales reported in San Diego, Los Angeles, and Orange County. In fact, 7 of the top 10 fastest housing markets are in California.

Even outside of California, the western states dominated the list. Denver came in fourth, just behind San Francisco, with 38 percent of its homes sitting on the market for two whole months. Seattle also made the list, with 43 percent of its homes spending more than 2 months on the market.

The only east coast location was Middlesex County, Massachusetts, next door to Boston and home of the famously tight housing market in the city of Cambridge. The New York City metro area didn’t make the top ten list, but it may in the future, as the study revealed that the market there is heating up. Last year, 65 percent of the houses on the market in February were still unsold in April, but this year that figure had dropped to 54 percent, an indication that the market is moving more quickly.

But how does this effect the bottom line? Speedy housing markets are a sign of low inventory. In other words, there aren’t very many homes on the market compared with the number of interested buyers. This also pushes prices up, as buyers bid competitively to try to secure a house before someone else snaps it up.

In most of the metro areas, our study found that lower-priced homes are moving faster than homes near the top end of the market. If you can afford to pay a little more, you might find that there is less competition. If you’re working with a tight budget, make sure you have your financing lined up, and be ready to make a same-day offer when you find the right house.

This article Trulia’s Top 10 Fastest-Moving Housing Markets originally appeared on Trulia Tips.

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