Homes sell the fastest in these markets

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If you are a home buyer in San Francisco, you better act fast.

Homes are still selling like crazy in northern California.

In San Francisco, the hottest market in the country, 26% of homes were still for sale in August after being on the market for two months, according to a report from Trulia. The next fastest was Oakland, with 31% of homes still available after two months, followed by San Jose, with 34%.

Tight inventory and rising home prices have created a seller's market where multiple offers and bidding wars are common. "There's nothing to indicate a buyer's market is coming any time soon," said Ralph McLaughlin, a housing economist at Trulia.

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But the pace of home sales is starting to slow in some California cities, according to Trulia. For example, the percent of homes in San Francisco, Oakland and San Jose that sell in under two months have decreased slightly from last year.

Meanwhile, home sales in other West Coast markets are picking up. The fourth fastest-selling market was Seattle, with 40% of homes still available after two months, a drop from 44% last year. Homes are also moving faster in Salt Lake City, Utah, which came in fifth place.

On a national level, Trulia found 63% of homes hitting the markets on June 17 were still available on August 17.

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Sales in markets that were the most affordable last year have sped up, while the least affordable areas have pumped the brakes, McLaughlin said. "That could be an indicator that affordability may be starting to chip away at the traditional seller's market."

The coming winter could cool things off further, he added. "The hottest and most expensive markets tend to have the biggest drops between summer and winter."

First-time buyers, who have been noticeably absent in the prolonged housing recovery, will have the best luck finding a home in the Midwest, including Detroit and Kansas City, Mo., but also in New Orleans, McLaughlin noted. "Low-tier priced homes [in these markets] move a little slower than the rest of the market and tend to be somewhat affordable as well."

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