Ten Fastest-Moving Real Estate Markets in April

Realtor.com: California markets account for half the list

By Inman News, Friday, May 20, 2011

Half of the 10 fastest-moving housing markets nationwide in April were in California, according to monthly data released this week by Realtor.com.

To gauge how quickly properties move in 146 metro areas, Realtor.com calculated the median age of inventory for the month of April in those markets. In order to obtain the median, the site subtracted a property’s listed date from whichever was earlier: its end listing date or the end of the time period, and took the median of all the resulting individual days on the website.

In the U.S. overall, the median inventory age was 95 days in April, a 13.1 percent increase from April 2010. Denver and Oakland, Calif., had the shortest medians of all 146 markets: 44 days each. Every market in the top 10 saw its median inventory age rise on a year-over-year basis. The Denver market saw the biggest jump, up 25.7 percent, followed by Omaha, Neb., up 25.5 percent, to 59 days.

The Washington, D.C., metro area accounted for two of the markets in the top 10 list. Realtor.com separates data for metro areas that encompass multiple states.

Nine out of the 10 fastest-moving metros saw their inventory drop year-over-year. Both Washington, D.C., area metro segments in the top 10 saw the sharpest declines. Among the top 10, only Oakland saw its listings inventory rise, by 5 percent. Overall, total listings fell 8.3 percent in the U.S. in April.

Seven out of the 10 markets saw their median list prices fall year-over-year in April. Two Central Valley metro areas hit hard by foreclosures saw the biggest declines: Fresno, Calif., down 15.3 percent to $160,000, and Bakersfield, Calif., down 10 percent to $135,000.

The median list price in Denver remained essentially flat year-over-year, at $249,900. Only Omaha and the Virginia segment of the Washington, D.C., metro area saw their list prices rise: up 1.9 percent and 6 percent, respectively. The median list price nationwide fell 4 percent last month, to $191,900.

  Geographic area Total Listings  Median Age of Inventory
    # listings % yr.-over-
yr. change 
# listings % yr.-over-
yr. change
  United States 2,268,656 -8.3% 95 13.1%
1 Denver, Colo. 5,176 -4% 44 25.7%
2 Oakland, Calif. 8,794 5% 44 12.8%
3 San Francisco 5,588 -4.5% 54 10.2%
4 Washington, D.C.-Md.-Va.-W.Va.(Va.) 14,927 -13.8% 57 14%
5 Tulsa, Okla. 4,737 -2.3% 58 16%
6 Washington, D.C.-Md.-Va-W.Va. (D.C.) 2,911 -13.7% 58 13.7%
7 Bakersfield, Calif. 3,527 -1.6% 58 11.5%
8 San Jose, Calif. 6,096 -7.3% 59 15.7%
9 Fresno, Calif. 4,294 -10.9% 59 3.5%
10 Omaha, Neb.-Iowa (Neb.) 4,187 -8% 59 25.5%

Source: Realtor.com