According to the real estate site Trulia, declining home inventory is generating more demand and faster sales in major U.S. cities compared to five years ago. Naturally, nowhere do homes sell faster or more regularly than in the Bay Area.
Trulia economist Ralph McLaughlin writes in a report this week titled “Catch It If You Can”:
Of the top ten fastest moving markets [...] the highest concentration [is] in the San Francisco Bay Area. Fewer than 25% of homes are still on the market after two months in San Jose (20% and number one on our list), Oakland (20.2% and number two on our list), and San Francisco (23.7% and number four).
Seattle is the only non-California city to beat San Francisco, coming in third place. Thus technically fulfilling last year’s prophecy that “Seattle is the new San Francisco,” at least in this one narrow context.
Note that McLaughlin used only homes on Trulia in his sample, which means it’s not necessarily indicative of the market as a whole.
But McLaughlin tells Curbed SF that this same time last year, the number of San Francisco homes still on Trulia after two months was 26.4 percent, so we can at least stay that a similar sample sells faster now.
In fact, at roughly this same time last year Trulia released a report titled “Fastest Markets Slowing Down,” noting that while almost all homes in the city sold in less than one month that the trend was slowing. But apparently it didn’t last.
Compare these numbers to those on the home listing site Realtor.com, where sales are apparently less speedy than they used to be but still so fast they’re a bit of a blur.
At about this time in 2016, the average San Francisco/Oakland/Hayward area home on Realtor sold in 24 days. Today that figure is flat year over year, but in San Jose the sale times have slipped from a lightning-fast average of 20 days then to 25 days now.
So while it’s possible to assess the market as moving slower or faster year over year depending on which homes we’re looking at, when all is said and done we’re still always pushing the needle.