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2014-03-21 10:15:35
One Third of Homes Sold in February Lasted Only 30

One Third of Homes Sold in February Lasted Only 30 Days on the Market, Realtors Say

One Third of Homes Sold in February Lasted Only 30 Days on the Market, Realtors SayTurnaround time for existing homes for sale is a telltale sign of this housing market, which is also defined by constrained inventories and prices rebounding so fast that affordability is diminished.

Thirty-four percent of homes sold in February were on the market for less than a month.

The median time on market for all homes was 62 days in February, down from 67 days in January and 74 days on market in February 2013.

All-cash sales comprised 35 percent of transactions in February, up from 33 percent in January and 32 percent in February 2013.

Individual investors, who account for many cash sales, purchased 21 percent of homes in February, compared with 20 percent in January; they were 22 percent in February 2013.

Seventy-three percent of investors paid cash in February.

Even short sales — traditionally characterized by a long process — were on the market for a median of 94 days in February, while foreclosures typically sold in 60 days and non-distressed homes took 61 days.

These figures from the National Association of Realtors also reflects a continuus strong rebound in home prices.

The median existing-home price for all housing types in February was $189,000, which is 9.1 percent above February 2013.

“Price gains have translated into an additional $4 trillion of housing wealth recovery over the past three years,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist.

Home prices continued to show solid growth in most of the country due to limited inventory conditions, but rising prices and severe winter weather caused existing-home sales to slip in February, the NAR said.

Total existing-home sales, which are completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, declined 0.4 percent to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 4.60 million in February from 4.62 million in January, and 7.1 percent below the 4.95 million-unit level in February 2013.

February’s pace of sales was the lowest since July 2012, when it stood at 4.59 million.

“We had ongoing unusual weather disruptions across much of the country last month, with the continuing frictions of constrained inventory, restrictive mortgage lending standards and housing affordability less favorable than a year ago,” Yun said.

Some transactions are being delayed, so there should be some improvement in the months ahead, he added.

 
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