Buyers need to act quickly to land a house, even ones that are not newly built. As of last month, existing homes sold within a median of 23 days in San Jose, 25 days in San Francisco, 27 days in Denver, and 28 days in Seattle.
Realtor.com notes that existing homes across the nation were for sale for a median of 29 days in April, the shortest time period since NAR began keeping track in May 2011.
Homes sold quickly because there were so few of them on the market.
The lack of homes for sale is also turbocharging price tags. The median existing-home price hit $244,800 in April. That's up nearly 3.5% from March and represents a 6% annual increase.
Even with the price jumps, existing homes are still roughly 25 percent cheaper than newly built homes.