The housing crisis is finally in the rear-view mirror as the real estate market moves down the road to a complete recovery. Home values are up. Home sales are up. Distressed sales (foreclosures and short sales) have fallen dramatically. It seems that 2017 will be the year that the housing market races forward again.
However, there is one thing that may cause the industry to tap the brakes: a lack of housing inventory. While buyer demand looks like it will remain strong throughout the winter, supply is not keeping up.
Here are the thoughts of a few industry experts on the subject:
"Total housing inventory at the end of December dropped 10.8%...which is the lowest level since NAR began tracking the supply of all housing types in 1999. Inventory has fallen year-over-year for 19 straight months and is at a 3.6-month supply at the current sales pace."
"More than two-thirds of the markets are seeing less inventory now compared to a year ago."
"The dismal number of listings in the affordable price range is squeezing prospective first-time buyers the most. As a result, young households are missing out on the wealth gains most homeowners have accrued from the 41% cumulative rise in existing home prices since 2011."
"The lack of affordable supply is really driving up home prices."
"Tight housing inventory remains a constraining factor limiting stronger sales growth…
We expect further price growth to entice more homeowners to list their homes, particularly as existing homeowners have greater equity."
If you are thinking of selling, now may be the time. Demand for your house will be strong at a time when there is very little competition. That could lead to a quick sale for a really good price.