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Why Is Housing Inventory So Low?
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Why Is Housing Inventory So Low?
One question that’s top of mind if you’re thinking about making a move today is: Why is it so hard to find a house to buy? And while it may be tempting to wait it out until you have more options, that’s probably not the best strategy. Here’s why.
There aren’t enough homes available for sale, but that shortage isn’t just a today problem. It’s been a challenge for years. Let’s take a look at some of the long-term and short-term factors that have contributed to this limited supply.
Underbuilding Is a Long-Standing Problem
One of the big reasons inventory is low is because builders haven’t been building enough homes in recent years. The graph below shows new construction for single-family homes over the past five decades, including the long-term average for housing units completed:
For 14 straight years, builders didn’t construct enough homes to meet the historical average (shown in red). That underbuilding created a significant inventory deficit. And while new home construction is back on track and meeting the historical average right now, the long-term inventory problem isn’t going to be solved overnight.
Today’s Mortgage Rates Create a Lock-In Effect
There are also a few factors at play in today’s market adding to the inventory challenge. The first is the mortgage rate lock-in effect. Basically, some homeowners are reluctant to sell because of where mortgage rates are right now. They don’t want to move and take on a rate that’s higher than the one they have on their current home. The chart below helps illustrate just how many homeowners may find themselves in this situation:
Those homeowners need to remember their needs may matter just as much as the financial aspects of their move.
Misinformation in the Media Is Creating Unnecessary Fear
Another thing that’s limiting inventory right now is the fear that’s been created by the media. You’ve likely seen the negative headlines calling for a housing crash, or the ones saying home prices would fall by 20%. While neither of those things happened, the stories may have dinged your confidence enough for you to think it’s better to hold off and wait for things to calm down. As Jason Lewris, Co-Founder and Chief Data Officer at Parcl, says:
“In the absence of trustworthy, up-to-date information, real estate decisions are increasingly being driven by fear, uncertainty, and doubt.”
That’s further limiting inventory because people who would make a move otherwise now feel hesitant to do so. But the market isn’t doom and gloom, even if the headlines are. An agent can help you separate fact from fiction.
How This Impacts You
If you’re wondering how today’s low inventory affects you, it depends on if you’re selling or buying a home, or both.
- For buyers: A limited number of homes for sale means you’ll want to seriously consider all of your options, including various areas and housing types. A skilled professional will help you explore all of what’s available and find the home that best fits your needs. They can even coach you through casting a broader net if you need to expand your search.
- For sellers: Today’s low inventory actually offers incredible benefits because your house will stand out. A real estate agent can walk you through why it’s especially worthwhile to sell with these conditions. And since many sellers are also buyers, that agent is also an essential resource to help you stay up to date on the latest homes available for sale in your area so you can find your next dream home.
The low supply of homes for sale isn’t a new challenge. There are a number of long-term and short-term factors leading to the current inventory deficit. If you’re looking to make a move, let’s connect. That way you’ll have an expert on your side to explain how this impacts you and what’s happening with housing inventory in our area.
🏡 Why is it so hard to find a house to buy? And while it may be tempting to wait it out until you have more options, that’s probably not the best strategy. Here’s why.
🏡 In some ways, smaller homes are already here. When the pandemic hit, the meaning of home changed. People needed the space their home provided not only as a place to live, but as a place to work, go…
📈 Toward the end of last year, there were a number of headlines saying home prices were going to fall substantially in 2023.
💁🏽♀️ Generation Z (Gen Z) is eager to put down their own roots and achieve financial independence. As a result, they’re turning to homeownership.
📈 If you remember the housing crash back in 2008, you may recall just how popular adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) were back then.
📦 Plenty of people are still moving these days. And if you’re thinking of making a move yourself, you may be considering the inventory and affordability challenges in the housing market…
While this isn’t the frenzied market we saw in recent years, homes that are priced right are still selling quickly and seeing multiple offers right now.
If you’re thinking of buying or selling a home, one of the biggest questions you have right now is probably: what’s happening with home prices?