June Home Prices, Buyer Competition Hit New Highs

If you’re looking to buy a home in Denver, Seattle or Portland, be prepared to move quickly. Really quickly. As in, “you blinked–too late.”

Redfin, Seattle, said rising home prices and inventory that can’t keep up resulted in record-high home prices and record-low days on market. The company’s monthly report said 26.6 percent of homes sold in June went for more than their asking price, while the typical home found a buyer in 36 days.

The report said U.S. home prices rose by 7.3 percent to a median sale price of $298,000 in June. This is the highest national median sale price Redfin recorded since it began keeping track in 2010.

Home sales increased by 1.9 percent compared to last year, constrained by a long-standing inventory shortage. The number of homes for sale fell by 10.7 percent, leaving just 2.5 months of supply–the lowest supply on record since 2010–and well below the six months that represents a market balanced between buyers and sellers.

“Every record in market speed and competition that was set in May was broken again in June,” Redfin said.

The typical home that sold in June went under contract in 36 days, one day faster than in May. Denver, Portland and Seattle were the fastest-moving markets, with the typical home in each market finding a buyer in just seven days. The average sale-to-list price ratio hit a record high of 95.5 percent in June.

“This market is unlike any we’ve ever seen before,” said Redfin chief economist Nela Richardson. “Month after month, new records are set for the pace at which homes are going under contract. Demand continues to swell while supply troughs. For buyers competing in this market, it’s survival of the fittest. The strongest offers that are most likely to close quickly and smoothly rise to the top of the pile.”

Other hot markets included Grand Rapids, Mich. (eight days on market) and Boston (nine days). The most competitive market in June was San Jose, Calif., where 73.7% of homes sold above list price, followed by 70.6% in San Francisco, 69.8% in Oakland 62.3% in Seattle and 52.6% in Tacoma, Wash..

Fort Lauderdale, Fla., saw the nation’s highest price growth, rising 15.6% since last year to $260,000, followed by Nashville (14%), Seattle (13.5%), Tacoma (12.2%) and Deltona, Fla. (12.1%). Just two metros saw price declines in June: Greensboro, N.C. (-1.2%) and Tulsa, Okla. (-0.3%).

The report said 10 of 89 metros tracked saw sales surge by double digits from last year. Poughkeepsie, N.Y. led in year-over-year sales growth, up 42.6%, followed by Camden, N.J., up 23.1%. Lakeland, Fla., rounded out the top three with sales up 16.3% from a year ago. Buffalo, N.Y. saw the largest decline in sales since last year, falling 26.9%. Home sales in Rochester, N.Y. and Fort Lauderdale declined by 21.2% and 15.5%, respectively.

San Jose saw the largest decrease in overall inventory, falling 42.2% since last June. Rochester (-29.7%), San Francisco (-26.6%),and Tampa, Fla. (-26.5%) also saw far fewer homes available on the market than a year ago. Conversely, three Utah metros saw the highest increases in homes for sale. Ogden had the highest increase in inventory, up 40.5% year over year, followed by Provo (36.7%) and Salt Lake City (30.1%).