There's so much to think about when it comes time for a real estate investor to put that house on the market, including what you can plan for and what you can't really control. The latter includes timing, including is it a good time to sell in general, and how much time will it take?
Well, time on market has been falling regularly since the housing market began heating up during the recession, and now, the answer is "really not that long" for most properties, especially in the big middle of the price spectrum.
The National Association of Realtors, in its most recent existing-home sales report, says that the nationwide median time on market in May was six days for single-family homes priced at between $100,000 and $500,000.
Selling a single-family house in the $500,000-$750,000 tier only took a day longer -- seven was the median -- while eight days was the median for single-family homes in the $750,000 to $1 million range. For homes over $1 million, the median was 11 days, and by far the slowest sellers were the least expensive, 19 days as a median for the $0-$100,000 band.
And these numbers are for the single-family home sector of the housing market. Add in all housing types, the NAR says, and properties typically (the average here, not the median) remained on the market for 17 days in May, unchanged from April and down from 26 days in May 2020. The trade group said 89% of all homes sold in May 2021 were on the market for less than a month.
High and low ends of the market sell a bit more slowly
That same package of data shows that the price tier with the most sales among single-family homes was the $250,000 to $500,000 range at 42%, followed by $100,000 to $250,000 at 26%. Again, the high and low ends of the market had the fewest sales, with 6.3% for the million-dollar-plus homes and 4.7% for those sold for less than $100,000.
And overall, sales of homes priced at $1 million plus soared by 244.5% year over year in May, while those in the lowest tier fell by 11% in the same time frame.
There also are regional variations among these trends. For instance, 16.4% of homes sold in the West region were at the top of the price tiers, while the Midwest saw 10.4% of its homes sold in the bottom price range.
You can check out the tables here.
The Millionacres bottom line
Time on market means how many days between the listing and an accepted offer or expired listing. Median, of course, means the midpoint of a list of numbers; i.e., with an equal number above and below that point.
With that in mind, looking at these numbers from the NAR is interesting, but every region, every market, every street, every property, has its own story and realistic price point, and that, of course, a lot can happen between the sales agreement and the close.
That said, this is still a very robust homebuying market in most places in the country, with high demand driven by low mortgage rates meeting high prices driven by that demand and short supply. Paying attention to top-line information like this can help frame your thinking as you prepare to drill down locally into what you're considering buying or selling going forward.