The housing crisis is finally in the rearview mirror as the real estate market moves down the road to a complete recovery. Home values are up. Home sales are up. Distressed sales (foreclosures and short sales) have fallen dramatically. This will be the year that the housing market again races forward.
However, there is one thing that may cause the industry to tap the brakes: a lack of housing inventory. While buyer demand looks like it will remain strong throughout the winter, supply is not keeping up. Here are the thoughts of a few industry experts on the subject:
Mark Fleming, PhD. Chief Economist at First American:
“Extremely limited supply is stopping the market from reaching its full potential, counteracting positive increases in market fundamentals, such as employment and wages.”
Jonathan Smoke, Chief Economist at realtor.com:
“Overall, the fundamental trends we have been seeing all year remain solidly in place as we enter the traditionally slower sales season, and pent-up demand remains substantial as buyers seek to get a home under contract while rates remain so low.”
Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at NAR:
“Healthy labor markets in most of the country should be creating a sustained demand for home purchases. However, there’s no question that after peaking in June, sales in a majority of the country have inched backwards because inventory isn’t picking up to tame price growth and replace what’s being quickly sold… Inventory has been extremely tight all year and is unlikely to improve now that the seasonal decline in listings is about to kick in. Unfortunately, there won’t be much relief from new home construction, which continues to be grossly inadequate in relation to demand.”
Supply and Demand
The price of any item is determined by the supply of that item, as well as the market demand. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) surveys “over 50,000 real estate practitioners about their expectations for home sales, prices and market conditions” for their Realtors Confidence Index. Their latest edition sheds some light on the relationship between Seller Traffic (supply) and Buyer Traffic (demand).
The map above was created after asking the question: “How would your rate buyer traffic in your area?” The darker the blue, the more buyers are looking for homes in that area. As you can see, four states came in with a weak demand level.
The Index also asked: “How would you rate seller traffic in your area?” As you can see from the map above, the majority of the country has weak Seller Traffic, meaning there are far fewer homes on the market than what is needed to satisfy the buyers who are out looking for their dream homes.
There is a clear demand for homes, but the surplus isn’t there. Looking at the maps above, it is not hard to see why prices are appreciating in many areas of the country. Until the supply of homes for sale starts to meet the buyer demand, prices will continue to increase.
This means home prices are more competitive than ever, and that the best time to put your home on the market is right now. To take advantage of this moment in time, contact Coastal Realty Connection today. Your net worth will thank you!Posted by