As the average temperature climbs fast across the U.S., interest from would-be home buyers is rising just as quickly—and that means the number of days that homes sit on the market is dwindling, according to the most recent analysis of realtor.com® data for the month of April.
While the roster of metro areas on our monthly list of the country’s hottest markets looks pretty similar to those of months past (can you say California, here I come?), we’re seeing some new heat emanating from the Midwest.
And that’s significant, says Jonathan Smoke, chief economist of realtor.com, who carried out the analysis.
“The Midwest region is representative of the status of the broader U.S. recovery,” he says. “When Columbus, OH, is the 10th hottest market in the country, you know that the Midwest—and the U.S. overall—is back and doing well.”
In fact, Smoke says, many Midwestern markets are continuing a boom period that kicked into gear last year.
“The Northeast is seeing much stronger year-over-year growth in today’s pending home sales data than the Midwest or any other region, but the Midwest’s growth is better than the U.S. overall,” he says.
According to Smoke’s analysis, close to 550,000 new listings came onto the market in April, which helped total inventory grow 2% over March. However, home sales are accelerating so quickly, the added inventory still isn’t keeping up with demand.
The median age of inventory, which fell 22 days from February to March, dropped by six more days in April. So there are 4% fewer homes available for sale compared with this time last year, and homes are selling five days faster.
“Pent-up demand, lower mortgage rates, and strong employment continue to power the strongest and healthiest real estate market we have seen in a decade,” Smoke said in a statement.
Smoke and his team assessed the major metropolitan markets where homes are selling fast and demand (as measured by listing views on realtor.com) is high. Those on the hottest markets list receive two to three times the number of views per listing compared with the national average, and see inventory move 17 to 45 days more quickly than the rest of the U.S.
So here are the metro areas where sellers are making bank and buyers need to be on their toes. Note that we’re talking about more than the individual city, in most cases; the San Francisco market, for example, includes Berkeley, in the East Bay, and Hayward, farther inland. Click on the icons in the interactive map for more detailed information on each market.
The hot list