Fewer homes available for sale
March and April are normally the beginning of the year’s most active home buying period. But this year, buyers face a serious dilemma.
Not enough homes are on the market to satisfy the demand. This opens the door to bidding wars and rising prices in some cases. A major real estate organization recently issued a report on the situation:
“As the home shopping season approaches, lack of inventory continues to limit choices available to potential buyers, putting a strain on markets across the country.
“Home shoppers had 8.6 percent fewer homes to choose from than they did last year, according to the January Zillow Real Estate Market Reports. Housing starts reached a three-month low in January, indicating that newly built homes will not be a significant benefit for buyers, either.”
An increased number of bidding is predicted, according to the Zillow report.
“A restricted supply of homes for sale will mean increased competition for homes that are available, and bidding wars that can price out entry-level or first-time buyers. Low inventory, along with a strong job market has been driving up home prices, especially on the West Coast.
“Across the country, only a quarter of markets saw inventory increase over the past year. Among the largest metros in the U.S., Atlanta saw the largest increase in available homes for sale — 6.8 percent. Home shoppers in San Diego have significantly fewer options — inventory there has dropped 30 percent.”