July 15, 2016 – Hendersonville Board of Realtors – HOME SALES ARE HIGH — IF NOT FOR LOW INVENTORY, THEY’D BE EVEN HIGHER
This year is shaping up to be the best in a decade for home sales (yay!), but that doesn’t mean that buying a home is easy (uh-oh). Houses are flying off the market at the fastest rate since the housing bust in 2007, so we know that buyers must be working hard to find that perfect home and get it under contract. Harder than ever, perhaps.
Insights from our daily surveys of visitors to realtor.com tell us that their biggest challenge is the low inventory of available homes, which is holding us back from seeing even more sales.
In June, the No.1 obstacle to making a purchase, as reported by 40% of buyers on realtor.com, was simply finding a home that met their needs. This was also the top problem last June, but then only 37% of buyers reported the issue.
And it’s no wonder that more people are reporting that just finding a home is a problem. We have about 13% more people looking to buy this summer, yet there are 5% fewer homes for sale. No matter how you do the math, it adds up to a shortage for buyers.
So it’s not surprising that this low level of inventory—along with the rapid-fire speed at which homes are selling and the high level of price appreciation—has led to the general perception that we’re in a seller’s market. Fair enough. But that doesn’t mean it’s all smooth sailing for sellers either.
In fact, sellers report that their biggest issue is time: In June, 40% of sellers said they had just started thinking of selling.
That percentage has been growing each month this spring, so at least we can be encouraged by more owners thinking of selling their homes as prices recover and mortgage rates remain temptingly low.