The Market Today October 11, 2023

What has caused the scarcity in the housing inventory?

Many individuals today are asking a fundamental question when considering a move: Why is it so difficult to find a home to purchase? Although waiting for more options may appear tempting, it may not be the best strategy, and here’s why.

The scarcity of homes available for sale is not merely a recent issue but an enduring one, rooted in a mix of long-term and short-term factors.

A Long-Standing Issue: Underbuilding One significant reason for the low inventory is the insufficient construction of homes by builders in recent years. For 14 consecutive years, builders failed to construct enough homes to meet the historical average, resulting in a significant inventory deficit. Although new home construction is currently back on track and meeting historical averages, resolving the long-term inventory problem will take time.

Today’s Mortgage Rates Create a Lock-In Effect In today’s market, there are factors contributing to the inventory challenge. The first is the mortgage rate lock-in effect, which has made some homeowners reluctant to sell. They are concerned about moving and acquiring a higher mortgage rate than their current one. However, homeowners should consider that their needs are as important as financial factors in their decision.

Misinformation in the Media Is Creating Unnecessary Fear Another factor limiting inventory is the fear fueled by media misinformation. Negative headlines predicting a housing crash or substantial price drops may have eroded confidence and encouraged people to postpone their moves. This fear is further limiting inventory as potential sellers hold back. It’s essential to separate fact from fiction with the guidance of a real estate agent.

Impact on Buyers and Sellers The impact of today’s low inventory depends on whether you are buying or selling a home, or both.

For buyers, limited inventory means carefully exploring various areas and housing types to find the best fit. An experienced agent can help you expand your search and consider all available options.

For sellers, low inventory presents opportunities as your property will stand out. A real estate agent can guide you through the advantages of selling under these conditions. Since many sellers are also buyers, an agent can help you stay updated on the latest homes for sale in your area.

In conclusion, the shortage of homes for sale is not a new issue but the result of long-term and short-term factors. If you are planning a move, it’s advisable to connect with a real estate agent who can explain the impact on you and provide insights into housing inventory in your area.

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