Home Listings: Only Half of Last Year's Have Sold

home listings only half sold
home listings only half sold

Thinking of selling one day, but you're afraid of being one of those sellers who linger on the market, month after month? Well, consider that only about half of the 500,000 listings that went on the market last year in seven major counties had sold as of last week. That's according to a Wall Street Journal article based on a report by Redfin Corp., a Seattle-based brokerage that operates in nine states.

Although Redfin found that 53 percent of the listings it tracked, in counties located around Chicago, Atlanta, Seattle, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Phoenix and Boston, had not sold after a year, those numbers do not represent actual homes sold. The data tracks a listing, not a property.

Say, for example, that two homes in one county went up for sale. One stayed listed on the market 12 months straight before it sold, but the other went on and off the market three times during the same 12 months before it sold, Redfin's data would count that as a total of four listings for the county with a success rate of 50 percent (two out of four listings resulted in sales.)

Rather than a measure of how quickly homes are selling or how many sold, Redfin's data, in effect, gives a look at the success rate of an agent to sell a home the first-time around, or basically how long it takes before a homeowner might give up and pull their home from the market to either do repairs, switch agents, or just come back on with a fresh start, by restarting the clock that tracks the number of days it's been on the market.