Though the housing market is recovering nicely, it is not doing quite as well as some analysts had predicted. There has been no shortage of excuses offered as to why this is: the rise in interest rates, more stringent lending standards, the weather.
However, we feel that there is one factor that is most responsible for curtailing the number of houses sold – the number of houses available for sale!
Inventory Levels are BELOW Historic Norms
In a recent economic forecast, Freddie Mac addressed this exact issue:
“Including newly built homes in the inventory count, the total number of homes offered for sale relative to the number of households in the U.S. has been running at the lowest level in more than 30 years, as shown in the second exhibit. The relatively low for-sale inventory reflects several features of today’s market.”
“A supply-constrained market (holding other factors constant) will result in a decline in the volume of sales and an increase in real transaction prices.”
NAR Report Confirms Inventory Constriction
History shows us that a balanced real estate market requires a six month supply of available housing inventory. The National Association of Realtors released their Existing Homes Sales Report earlier this week. The report revealed that we are still only at a 5.5 month supply of homes for sale. We have not reached the 6 month mark in over two years.
The recent increase in buyers now looking will again put a strain on this number.
While inventory levels remain below historic norms, it will remain a seller’s market. This being the case, if you are considering selling your home, now may be the time to list it for sale.