Limited Inventory Challenges Homebuyers in 2012

The 2012 annual housing market study by the California Association of Realtors is pointing out what listing agents and brokers have been claiming for many months: Properties are getting multiple offers — especially those priced in the affordable echelon, the C.A.R. report says. Homes are also selling twice as fast as they did in 2011.

Fifty-seven percent of home sales received multiple offers, representing the highest percentage in the last 12 years.

Each home landed 4.2 offers, up from 3.5 in 2011. Lower priced homes, think REO (real-estate owned) or short sales, drew more offers than straight-up sales. Seven out of 10 REOs and short sales attracted multiple offers; equity sales, more than one.
Here are some additional nuggets from the report:

  • Fourty-one percent of the homes sold without a markdown.
  • Equity homes sold faster in 2012 by 35 days. Average days to ink a sale, 32. Last year, it took 67 days to sell a home with equity.
  • REO sales took 30 days, shaving 20 days from the average in 2011.
  • Short sales remain a tough nut to crack: The average sale took 90 days, but is down from 141 days in 2011.
  • Thirty percent of all home buyers paid with all-cash; in 2001, that buy-pool represented only 9 percent.

The C.A.R. survey, a tradition since 1981, is based on random mailings to 15,000 Realtors across California. Realtors were asked to provide information on the most recent sale to close escrow in the second quarter of 2012.