There have been a lot of shifts in the housing market recently. Mortgage rates rose dramatically last year, impacting many people’s ability to buy a home. And after several years of rapid price appreciation, home prices finally peaked last summer. These changes led to a rise in headlines saying prices would end up crashing.
Even though we’re no longer seeing the buyer frenzy that drove home values up during the pandemic, prices have been relatively flat at the national level. Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at the National Association of Realtors (NAR), doesn’t expect that to change:
“Home prices will be steady in most parts of the country with a minor change in the national median home price.”
You might think sellers would have to lower prices to attract buyers in today’s market, and that’s part of why some may have been waiting for prices to come crashing down. But there’s another factor at play – low inventory. And according to Yun, that’s limiting just how low prices will go:
“We simply don’t have enough inventory. Will some markets see a price decline? Yes. [But] with the supply not being there, the repeat of a 30 percent price decline is highly, highly unlikely.”
As you can see in the graph below, we’ve been at or near record-low inventory levels for a few years now.
“This ongoing lack of inventory explains why many buyers still have little choice but to bid up prices. And it also indicates that the supply-and-demand equation simply won’t allow a price crash in the near future.”
If more homes don’t come to the market, a lack of supply will keep prices from crashing, and, according to industry expert Rick Sharga, inventory isn’t likely to rise significantly this year:
“I believe that we’re likely to see low inventory continue to vex the housing market throughout 2023.”
Sellers are under no pressure to move since they have plenty of equity right now. That equity acts as a cushion for homeowners, lowering the chances of distressed sales like foreclosures and short sales. And with many homeowners locked into low mortgage rates, that equity cushion isn’t going anywhere soon.
With so few homes available for sale today, it’s important to work with a trusted real estate agent who understands your local area and can navigate the current market volatility.
A lot of people expected prices would crash this year thanks to low buyer demand, but that isn’t happening. Why? There aren’t enough homes for sale. If you’re thinking about moving this spring, let’s connect.
“. . . the big question is whether we are finally starting to see the seasonal spring increase in inventory. The answer is no, because active listings fell to a new low last week for 2023 . . .”
The National Association of Realtors (NAR) confirms today’s housing inventory is low by looking at the months’ supply of homes on the market. In a balanced market, about a six-month supply is needed. Anything lower is a sellers’ market. And today, the number is much lower:
“Total housing inventory registered at the end of February was 980,000 units, identical to January and up 15.3% from one year ago (850,000). Unsold inventory sits at a 2.6-month supply at the current sales pace, down 10.3% from January but up from 1.7 months in February 2022.”
Why Does Low Inventory Make It a Good Time To Sell?
The less inventory there is on the market when you sell, the less competition you’re likely to face from other sellers. That means your house will get more attention from the buyers looking for a home this spring. And since there are significantly more buyers in the market than there are homes for sale, you could even receive more than one offer on your house. Multiple offers are on the rise again (see graph below):
If you get more than one offer on your house, it becomes a bidding war between buyers – and that means you have greater leverage to sell on your terms. But if you want to maximize the opportunity for a bidding war to spark, be sure to lean on your expert real estate advisor. While we’re still in a strong sellers’ market, it isn’t the frenzy we saw a couple of years ago, and today’s buyers are focused on the houses with the greatest appeal. Clare Trapasso, Executive News Editor at Realtor.com, explains:
“Well-priced, move-in ready homes with curb appeal in desirable areas are still receiving multiple offers and selling for over the asking price in many parts of the country. So, this spring, it’s especially important for sellers to make their homes as attractive as possible to appeal to as many buyers as possible.”
If you’ve been waiting for the right time to sell your house, low inventory this spring sets you up with a big advantage. Let’s connect today to make sure your house is ready to sell.