Sellers are feeling the pressure as demand softens leaving more listings on the market longer than we’ve seen in quite some time. But even though demand is lessening, homes are still moving faster than they did before the pandemic began.
A new report from Zillow found sellers need their listings to be attractive and competitively priced to attract a buyer right now.
September pending home sales were scooped up after 19 days. While that’s still far from record lows during the pandemic, it’s 10 days faster than in September 2019. The report points out though that only accounts for homes that found a buyer — a look at current for-sale listings found homes stayed on the market for an average of 54 days in mid-October, up 45% from last year.
“Last year, sellers could seemingly list their home at any price and see multiple offers roll in above list price within days,” said Zillow senior economist Nicole Bachaud. “Now, buyers have some negotiating power, and sellers are under pressure. Buyers are still out there and willing to buy when they find the right home at the right price, which will provide a floor for the price declines we are currently seeing.”
Bachaud added that sellers need to do what they can to attract buyer attention including pricing their home competitively and making their listing attractive to those shopping online. “Especially in a market that’s quickly changing like today’s, working with an experienced agent who knows the local market is valuable,” she said.
Time on market, age of inventory grows
With homes staying on the market longer, the median age of available inventory is growing at its fastest rate since 2018, according to the report, and that’s since it hit an all-time low of 19 days in April.
Right now the median age is 30% below what it was before the pandemic, but Zillow says if it continues at the pace it’s growing, we could see the median time on market increase to 68 days by year’s end. In comparison, at the end of 2018 and 2019, the average time on market was 100 days.
The median age of inventory in Houston is 57 days, down from 83 before the pandemic began. In September, a home went pending within a median 25 days, compared to 37 in September 2019.