There are many items that should go on the checklist of every real estate investor. One has to consider not only details of the home itself but, almost more importantly, the market in which the home is located. It’s important to weigh the investment price with the potential return on that investment, and that includes items such as purchase price, amount of money invested into the home for improvements, the amount of time spent improving the home and the potential final sale price of the home.
What many real estate investors who are flipping homes may not consider, though, is how long the home may sit on the market after they make the improvements, and the hard costs and opportunity costs associated with that.
Ideally, real estate investors want to limit the total amount of time that is spent between when they purchase the home and when they sell it again to someone else. The total flip-time is not only dependent on how long it takes to do the actual improvements to the home, but also how long the home sits on the market once it has been listed for sale.
Real estate investors looking for opportunities for a great return on investment when flipping homes should take into consideration the average number of days a home sits on the market in a particular region. Listed below are the top 10, and bottom 10, places in the country, ranked by the number of days on the market. Each region has at least 1,000 listings, and the total listings are as of October 2018.
Top 10 Places with the Lowest Days on Market
The top 10 list consists of locations that are in constant high demand. Whether it’s demand because of job opportunities, religious reasons, simple supply-and-demand or other quality-of-life areas, buyers in these metro regions are quickly jumping on available properties on the real estate market. This makes it both good for a real estate investor who’s looking for a quick profit and also challenging, because the shorter days on market can often drive up the price of homes. If you can get your hands on a property to flip in these markets, though, you’re most likely to have a quick return on your investment.
#1: San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA (31 Days on Market; 3,512 total listings)
San Jose, Santa Clara and Sunnyvale are three cities located in a line from east to west in Northern California. San Jose is the biggest city of the three, as it’s home to 1.035 million people as of 2017. The tri-city market is located in the heart of what’s known as Silicon Valley, which is a major technology hub in the Bay Area. Apple’s headquarters are located in nearby Cupertino, while Google’s headquarters in Mountain View are in this region as well. This makes housing in the region in constant demand.
#2: San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA (32 DOM; 10,834 listings)
Just 52 miles to the north of San Jose sits San Francisco and its sister city across the bay, Oakland. Combined, the three cities have a total population of 1.459 million people. The region sits right on the water, with San Francisco flanked by the Pacific Ocean to the west and the San Francisco Bay to the east. The cities are hubs for the financial sector and are a destination for tourists from all over the world. The cities are also the home of five professional sports franchises – the San Francisco Giants and Oakland Athletics in baseball, the San Francisco 49ers and Oakland Raiders in football, and the Golden State Warriors in basketball, although the Raiders will be re-locating to Las Vegas in 2020.
#3: Salt Lake City, UT (36 DOM; 5,825 listings)
Salt Lake City’s metro population has continued to grow in recent years. In the city itself, there are only 200,544 residents, but there are 1.204 million in the metro region. The city sits in a valley surrounded by the snow-capped peaks of the Wasatch range. Salt Lake City is known as the headquarters of the Mormon Church, with Mormon-focused colleges such as The University of Utah and Brigham Young University located within the city limits and nearby Provo, respectively. The city is also home to impressive industry and is a destination for tourists.
#4 (tied): San Diego-Carlsbad, CA (38.5 DOM; 8,417 listings)
California gets another region on the top 10 list with San Diego-Carlsbad. The city in Southern California near the Mexico border is home to 1.42 million in the city limits, with 3.318 million in the metro region. San Diego is located right on the Pacific coast, making it a huge tourist destination for travelers worldwide. It also has a deep-rooted history with maritime trade and is home to the largest active naval fleet in the country.
#4 (tied): Omaha-Council Bluffs, NE-IA (38.5 DOM; 3,163 listings)
Omaha is located in the far eastern portion of Nebraska near the Iowa border, a mere four miles from Council Bluffs in the neighboring state across the Missouri River. Omaha is home to 466,893 people in the city limits, and the estimated population of the metro region is 895,151. The region’s location on the Missouri River, the longest river in North America that flows from Montana in the west and dumps into the Mississippi River just north of St. Louis, makes it an ideal location for the shipping industry and other industries that support it.
#5 (tied): Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA (39 DOM; 14,242 listings)
Located in the far northwest of the United States, the Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue region is flanked by the Cascade Mountains to the east and the Olympic Mountains to the west. The city of Seattle is located on Puget Sound, an inlet of the Pacific Ocean. The city of Seattle is home to 724,745 people, with the metro region being home to 3.867 million people. The region is home to a very diverse population, with maritime being a distinct segment of its industrial economy.
#5 (tied): Ogden-Clearfield, UT (39 DOM; 2,955 listings)
Ogden-Clearfield is a metro region near the Great Salt Lake located approximately 30 miles north of Salt Lake City. The metro population was 547,184 people as of the 2010 census. The region is a gateway to nearby ski resorts, and as such, it is a year-round destination for tourists looking to hit the powder. The region is also host to museums, shopping and dining hubs to service all the visitors.
#6: Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, NV (40.5 DOM; 9,332 listings)
In the far southwest corner of Nevada is the Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise metro region, home to 2.227 million people. The region is located about four hours northeast of Los Angeles and about four miles west of the Grand Canyon in nearby Arizona. The industry in Las Vegas has historically centered around the 24-hour casinos and supplemental entertainment, but it’s also home to a budding tech industry and recent professional sports franchises such as the Las Vegas Golden Knights and the Las Vegas Raiders, who will be relocating to the city in 2020.
#7 (tied): Boise City, ID (41.75 DOM; 2,980 listings)
The Boise City metro population of 709,845 makes it the largest metro area in Idaho. The region is known as Treasure Valley, a location in southwestern Idaho where the Payette, Boise, Weiser, Malheur, Owyhee and Burnt rivers drain into the Snake River. The state government is one of the city’s largest employers, and it is also home to the headquarters of major companies such as Boise Cascade LLC, Albertsons and WinCo Foods.
#7 (tied): Sioux Falls, SD (41.75 DOM; 1,292 listings)
The Sioux Falls metro region is home to an estimated 259,094 people as of 2017, an increase of 13.51% since the 2010 census. It’s a growing region located in the far eastern part of South Dakota, about four hours southwest of Minneapolis. The metro region actually accounts for 29% of South Dakota’s entire population, and the media market region covers parts of four states – South Dakota, Minnesota, Nebraska and Iowa.
Top 10 Places with the Highest Days on Market
Homes in these metro regions often take a longer time to sell. Whether it’s because the demand just isn’t there because there aren’t as many people or, in some cases, the homes fall into the upper echelon of price, you’ll need to be patient if you’re a real estate investor in one of these markets. There are opportunities everywhere in real estate if you look hard enough. While investors may have to wait longer to get their return in the below metro regions, they also might benefit from lower-than-market-value prices because homes take longer to sell. This could provide investors a great opportunity to spend less at their entry point than they otherwise might in these markets.
#1 (tied): Naples-Immokalee-Marco Island, FL (117.5 DOM; 8,352 listings)
The Naples metro region is home to approximately 322,000 people. Naples-Immokalee-Marco Island is located in the southwestern corner of Florida, on the Gulf Coast. The region is a hotbed for wealthy visitors and affluent permanent, as well as part-time residents. It is right on the water and also close to Everglades National Park.
#1 (tied): Kahului-Wailuku-Lahaina, HI (117.5 DOM; 1,772 listings)
Kahului-Wailuku-Lahaina is located on the island of Maui in the state of Hawaii. The metro region Is home to 154,925 people and has experienced an explosion in its population of 63.9% since 2000. The metro region is a hotbed for travel and transportation, with Kahului home to the island’s main airport, light industrial areas and plenty of shopping, dining and entertainment.
#2 (tied): Lynchburg, VA (119 DOM; 3,019 listings)
The Lynchburg metro region is home to approximately 260,320 people, the fifth largest in the state of Virginia. Located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains near the James River, Lynchburg is known as the City of Seven Hills or Hill City. It’s home to a skilled labor force, a low unemployment rate and below average cost of living, and Liberty University is the city’s largest employer.
#2 (tied): Claremont-Lebanon, NH-VT (119 DOM; 2,518 listings)
The Claremont-Lebanon metro region is home to 216,923 people, and has experienced a population growth of 11.97% since 2000. The region is located right on the Vermont-New Hampshire border, with the Connecticut River splitting the two states. The Claremont region has a very low unemployment rate, but its average income and median household income are below the national averages.
#3: Kalispell, MT (119.5 DOM; 1,654 listings)
The Kalispell metro region is home to only 94,924 people, near the Flathead Lake in northwestern Montana. The city of Kalispell is a gateway to Glacier National Park, with vast amounts of wildlife, peaks and alpine trails. It’s home to the largest city and commercial center in the northwest part of the state.
#4: Hudson, NY (120 DOM; 1,196 listings)
The city of Hudson is approximately 39 miles south of New York’s capital of Albany. It is part of the Hudson River Valley, home to approximately 3.5 million residents in towns along the Hudson River, depending on how one defines the region’s boundaries. It’s a region known as the Tech Valley because it’s home to a growing population of tech companies, but is also known for its winemakers.
#5: Glen Falls, NY (122.75 DOM; 1,722 listings)
The Glen Falls metro region is home to 128,774 people in upstate New York. The city has a low unemployment rate, and has seen the job market increase over the last year. Significant job growth of 38.6% is expected in the region over the next 10 years, which is above the projected national average.
#6: Ogdensburg-Massena, NY (123 DOM; 1,043 listings)
The Ogdensburg-Massena metro region is home to approximately 111,007 people in the far north end of New York, right on the St. Lawrence River across from Canada. Because of its location, shipping and related commerce is big for the region, which is located just up the river from Lake Ontario and down the river from Montreal.
#7: Brownsville-Harlingen, TX (134 DOM; 1,958 listings)
The Brownsville metro region is home to approximately 420,392 people, making it the ninth most populous metro region in the state of Texas. It’s located in the far southern tip of the state, right near the Gulf of Mexico and on the border with Mexico, about three-and-a-half hours east of Monterrey, Mexico. Because of its location, it’s a deep water seaport for the immense shipping industry that carries goods from the Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean Sea, and Pacific and Atlantic oceans.
#8: Glenwood Springs, CO (135 DOM; 1,333 listings)
The Glenwood Springs metro area is home to approximately 75,882 people, about two-and-a-half hours west of Denver. Glenwood Springs is a resort town in Colorado known for its hot springs. It’s located in the heart of the Rocky Mountains surrounded by the White River National Forest and near Hanging Lake. It’s a hotbed for tourists as a result.