Home sales were down in September compared with August, but homes that did sell were spending fewer days on the market.
According to data from the Triangle Multiple Listings Service, sales decreased 13 percent compared with August. That’s a larger change than is typical but was not unexpected as August saw more closings than normal.
“I felt that our year started late because of the weather, which would explain the higher spike of closings in August,” said Lenda Goulding, a Cary real estate broker.
Stacey Anfindsen, a Cary appraiser who analyzes Triangle Multiple Listings Service’s data, also noted that home sales typically slow in September. Most families try to move before school starts.
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More notable, Anfindsen said, was how fast homes were selling. Homes spent an average of 35 days on the market in September – a historical low, Anfindsen said.
Some lower-priced houses are spending only a week on the market. Anfindsen described the low as a function of the demand for certain types of housing.
“It’s never been this low,” Anfindsen said. “The sweet spot is between $200,000 and $300,000. From a number standpoints, that’s going to have the most amount of samples, so they’ll have less days on the market.”
Homes priced at $500,000 and above spent an average of 90 days on the market.
With the closing of the third quarter, Anfindsen and Goulding expect the fourth quarter to remain in line with historical trends.
“October and November typically see a slowness, but that will pick back up in December,” Anfindsen said.
Goulding said that the higher-end market will most likely be much quieter in December than the lower end.
In December, prices typically lower as the fourth quarter ends and both re-sale sellers and builders have to get houses off the books. The change will not be major, as many buyers in December are not urgently purchasing a home.
“I don’t think the price drop is as known for real estate buyers as it is with cars,” Anfindsen said. “With car dealerships you have year-end clearances. You don’t see that in real estate; buyers are not conditioned to look for that.”