CLOSING CHALLENGES

These are the US states where homes sell the slowest

New York tops the list as the state where it takes longest to close a residential property sale

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A home for sale.
Photo: Tim Boyle/Getty Images (Getty Images)

As the US housing market keeps testing buyers and sellers, realtors in some states are selling homes slower than their peers elsewhere, with the Northeast struggling the most. Sales over the past year took longest in New York, averaging about 60 days or two months to close, according to a new analysis by realty firm RubyHome Real Estate using data from Zillow.

The national average to close the sale of a home is 33.5 days. New Jersey follows New York with an average of around 48 days until close. Maryland, Connecticut, and Massachusetts are the next-slowest, averaging about 45, 44, and 42 days, respectively.

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Slower sales may point to a more competitive market

The length of time to sell could also indicate a tighter market in those Northeast states where competition for properties is fierce and supply may be lower. “In hot markets where sales activity is high, selling a home can take longer than the average due to a limited workforce of property appraisers and inspectors,” said a spokesperson for RubyHome Real Estate.

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Among the states where homes sell the slowest, two also have the lowest rates of home ownership in the US. Only 54.3% of residents own their homes in New York, the state that ranks lowest. California comes in second, at 55.3%. Third-lowest is Hawaii, where 61.3% of residents are homeowners. About 66% of American homes are owner-occupied, according to the analysis.

The median duration of home ownership in the US is 13.2 years, up 31% since 2012. Older Americans are more likely to be homeowners, with 79.1% of people over age 65 in that group, nearly double the rate for those under 35.