Taking a home in metro Denver from listing to the closing table now only takes 41 days on average, one of the shortest turnaround times in the country, according to a new study from Trulia.
Denver had the fifth-fastest turnaround time in April. Seattle and the California metro areas of San Jose, San Francisco and Oakland comprise the top four, respectively. Homes in the first three went from listing to sale in a speedy 36 days.
Colorado Springs, ranked seventh, saw transactions take 43 days from listing to sale. By contrast, it took 144 days to close a listing in Syracuse, N.Y., and 132 days on Long Island.
“Since 2010, it has been the story of steady decline nationally. But 64 days is a … record nationally,” said Felipe Chacon, a housing economist with Trulia, which tracks how long it takes a listing on its website to appear in the public records as a sale.
Listing to sale is a broader measure than average days on market, which is the measure that real estate agents track. That measure, which tied a record low of 18 days in metro Denver in May, represents the average days a home spends from listing to when it is put under contract.
When the market is super heated, it can create a backlog in getting inspections done, home values appraised and loans processed. That was an issue in 2016 and into 2017, when high demand for appraisers caused major bottlenecks in the market and delayed mortgage approvals.
“Appraisal times have shortened because the amount of refinances have dropped,” said Jaryd Takushi, an agent with Kentwood City Properties in Denver. Although rising interest rates generally work against home sales, they can help buyers by freeing up mortgage capacity that might otherwise go to refinancings.
Takushi thinks another reason that home sales are wrapping up faster is that buyers are more seasoned and ready to move when they finally do get a home under contract.
“Losing a couple bidding wars is a quick learning tool. Buyers then understand how to make stronger offers with quicker closings,” he said.
Chacon said home sales tend to wrap up much faster in the western half of the country than in the eastern half and the fastest markets share strong job growth and a tight housing inventory. But pretty much everywhere, the trend is for a quicker turnaround.
“Shorter times,” Chacon said, “might be the new norm.”