Tight inventory puts damper on home sales
With the number of homes on the market down 25.3% from last year, the pace of sales is basically stagnant. It's a seller's market in many cities.
Sales of existing homes rose marginally in January, as would-be buyers continued to find very little to buy.
The number of homes for sale is at its lowest level since December 1999, according to the latest data from the National Association of Realtors.
The number of homes sold in January was 9.1% above last year’s number and up 0.4% from December; inventory was down 25.3% from a year ago.
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"Buyer traffic is continuing to pick up, while seller traffic is holding steady," Lawrence Yun, the NAR’s chief economist, said in a news release. "In fact, buyer traffic is 40% above a year ago, so there is plenty of demand but insufficient inventory to improve sales more strongly. We've transitioned into a seller's market in much of the country."
The national median home price rose to $173,600, up 12.3% from the previous year.
Foreclosures and short sales accounted for 23% of January sales, down from 35% in January 2012. The average foreclosure discount was 20%, and the average short-sale discount was 12%, the NAR reported.
A number of factors are keeping sellers from putting their homes on the market, and inventory of homes for sale is particularly tight in California.
A total of 27.5% of Americans with mortgages still owe more than their home is worth, which is keeping some from selling. Tight credit means that some families who would like to sell a smaller home and move to a larger one are staying put. And the general economic uncertainty continues.
When enough additional homes will come to market, either new construction or existing homes, is a big question. It probably won't be soon.
"We expect a seasonal rise of inventory this spring, but it may be insufficient to avoid more frequent incidences of multiple bidding and faster-than-normal price growth," Yun said in the news release.
Everything stated in this article is 100% correct. Any agent in California, Nevada, Arizona, or Florida will tell you that there's less than 6 weeks of inventory on the market (the very definition of a strong SELLER's market) and everything priced within reason is getting multiple offers. With a few exceptions, this is happening on a smaller scale all over the country.
Now I know everyone likes bad news and refuses to believe houses or anything other than ammo and gold are headed for the toilet but at some point you have to just be grateful for some good news. Our national equity is coming back and home builders are starting to hire again. These are good things. Relax for once.
Or just sit there with a grumpy look on your face and hit the thumb down button... I really don't care.
The bank appraisers are screwing us on our sales of homes using foreclosure houses for comps. And you wonder why the sellers are getting screwed. They are not getting a FAIR MARKET VALUE when they go to sell their house. With the shitty appraisals the prospective buyers then think they have an edge to get your home for what a run down, neglected foreclosure should sell for. So the homeowners are still getting screwed. So wait to sell your home till these forclosures are done and off the market and then you will get what your home is really worth. They should not be allowed to compare your home foreclosed units. That is not a fair appraisal and that is just what they are doing and the banks are approving it. I hope those appraisers get stuck with a shitty appraisal when they go to sell their home so they can see just what it's like. This country needs to file a class action law suit against these appraisers. That is the only wayu it will stop. We need to hit them in their own pocketbook. Nancy
Go on homes for sale in Metro Phoenix and it is crazy however we have an acute shortage of homes for sale. We are beginning to see bid ups from listed prices in some communities and home prices have gone up about 20% in the last 12 months. In the more affluent areas prices have gone up even higher by percentage.
hahahah! this was hilarious- a seller's market? really? When only a 6 months ago it was a buyer's market? Wow, sure glad the economy made such a swift strong turn. Oh wait- that never happened.
What a bull$hit, paid for, realty driven marketing piece. Not only is it STILL a buyers market, but with the continuing problems in the economy (unemployment, business closings, sequester, tax hikes, etc.) no amount of historically low inventory will drive prices up when the inventory of BUYERS (those who are ABLE to buy) is even lower. Not to mention that many of these "1.74 million" homes are abandonded to foreclosure and not worth the $ they are being listed for.
MSN- do your fact checking, or at least indicate a difference between reporting on fact and fiction (opinion). Sheesh.
About Teresa Mears
Teresa Mears is a veteran journalist who has been interested in houses since her father took her to tax auctions to carry the cash at age 10. A former editor of The Miami Herald's Home & Design section, she lives in South Florida where, in addition to writing about real estate, she publishes Miami on the Cheap to help her neighbors adjust to the loss of 60% of their property value.