Posted by Ron Wilstein on Tuesday, December 31st, 2013 at 11:39am.

Absorption rate tells you how fast a property will likely take to sell based upon the rate of recent sales of comparable properties. The absorption rate of similar sales provides important information to sellers and buyers alike.

The math is simple. First, identify similar properties that sold during the past year within similar neighborhoods or condominium projects and within a specific price range. Next, look back 12 months to find out how many similar properties sold. Now divide 365 days by the number of sales; this will give you the rate of sales for this sample group (for instance, one sale every 37 days on average). Finally, multiply the number of active comparable listings by the rate of sales to determine how long it should take for the current inventory of comparable properties to be purchased by buyers or absorbed into the marketplace.


When a property owner evaluates selling his or her property they are usually given data on comparable sales in order to determine the fair market value for their property. If an absorption analysis is provided, the seller can see how long it should take to sell their property if no additional similar properties come on the market. Based upon the unique circumstances of the property owner, he or she can plan on how long it should take to sell the property in the current market.

If an owner is selling the property due to a job transfer that will occur within the next 45 days, the absorption rate will help the seller price his or her property to sell within a specific time period, assuming it is listed at a reasonable price.


Absorption rates are important to buyers because they provide buyers with an estimate of how long it will take a property to sell that he or she may be interested in purchasing. If properties are selling quickly in a neighborhood or condominium project, or the supply of homes or condos for sale is very limited, the buyer knows that he or she should act quickly in submitting an offer in order to arrive at an acceptable price with the seller.

On the other hand, if there is a large supply of properties for sale, a buyer does not have to act as quickly to put together a deal. The buyer may be able to negotiate a lower price from a seller if the condominium project or neighborhood has had fewer sales. The information that a buyer derives from an absorption rate analysis can tell that buyer if he or she should act quickly and pay near or at the seller’s list price, or start with a lower price offer to get a better deal in markets with fewer sales.

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