Why now may be the time to sell your home

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Things Every Homebuyer Should Know

By Karla Bowsher

The housing market is warming up for buyers and sellers, according to the latest data from the National Association of Realtors.

Homes are selling for more money and selling more quickly, and more homes are up for sale.

The median list price was $225,000 in April, a 2 percent increase from last month and a 9 percent increase from last April.

The median length of time that homes stayed on the market was 73 days, a 12 percent decrease from last month and from last April.

The inventory increased by 5 percent last month but remains down compared to last year.

Inventory is unlikely to change much, however, until home prices rise enough to prompt owners with underwater mortgages to put their property on the market, Bloomberg Business recently reported.

The low inventory isn't the only reason buyers might be holding back, Nationwide Insurance chief economist David Berson told Bloomberg:

Because policy makers have signaled they will raise their key rate slowly and incrementally, potential buyers are less likely to rush into the market ahead of the first rate hike ... Besides, mortgage rates, while no longer at a record low, are still half their historical average in Freddie Mac data back to April 1971.

Realtor.com chief economist Jonathan Smoke has created a list of the 15 hottest medium-sized and large housing markets for buyers and sellers right now.

They rank in the top 20 percent based on listing views (which are considered a reflection of demand) and median days on the market (which are considered a reflection of supply).

Smoke says in a press release issued last week:

Sellers are seeing listings move between 29 and 49 days more quickly than in the rest of the country and at an accelerating pace from just last month -- an average of five days faster. Meanwhile, these markets are especially attractive to buyers, as listings are viewed two-to-three times more often than the national average.

  1. Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, Texas
  2. Santa Rosa, California
  3. Vallejo-Fairfield, California
  4. Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, Colorado
  5. Boston-Cambridge-Newton, Massachusetts-New Hampshire
  6. San Diego-Carlsbad, California
  7. Nashville-Davidson-Murfreesboro-Franklin, Tennessee
  8. Ann Arbor, Michigan
  9. Detroit-Warren-Dearborn, Michigan
  10. San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, California
  11. Boulder, Colorado
  12. Santa Cruz-Watsonville, California
  13. San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles-Arroyo Grande, California
  14. Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, California
  15. Sacramento-Roseville-Arden-Arcade, California
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