Available Homes Shrink More Than 30% in Hottest Housing Markets

By Allison McNeely

The time it would take to sell all available homes in some of the hottest U.S. housing markets continued to shrink in December as active listings fell.

Single-family homes are seen in this aerial photograph taken over a Lennar Corp. development in San Diego, California, U.S., on Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2020. U.S. sales of previously owned homes surged by the most on record in July as lower mortgage rates continued to power a residential real estate market that’s proving a key source of strength for the economic recovery.

Seattle had the fewest months of supply, with San Jose and Denver close behind. Active listings in those markets fell by more than 30% in December compared to the previous month, according to data from Redfin Corp. It would take less than a week to sell all the inventory in Seattle, and about 9 days for San Jose and Denver at current prices.

Housing supply has plunged over the past year as low interest rates and a shift to remote work in light of the Covid pandemic fuel demand for homes in smaller cities. The amount of time it would take to sell all inventory in Seattle has fallen by nearly two weeks over the past year, compared to a decline of three weeks in San Jose and about nine days in Denver.

The median sale price in Seattle was $727,000 in December, $1.4 million in San Jose and $540,000 in Denver, according to the December data. Active listings fell 36.6% in December from a month earlier in Seattle, with a 39.4% decline in San Jose and a 34.3% drop in Denver.

Listings typically increase in January as the spring selling season approaches, but Redfin expects that buyers will continue to outpace sellers. 

More stories like this are available on bloomberg.com.

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