This is especially true in some of the largest housing markets across the United States. Low inventory levels can make it difficult for buyers to find the home they need, or even bid in a competitive manner on homes that are available. This article takes an in-depth look at the real estate inventory crisis and how it could affect the industry in the future.
Inventory is measured by months of supply, which is determined by the amount of existing home sales relative to new listings. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) keeps track of this statistic; they report that there was a 3.4-month supply of homes on the market in April 2021. That statistic is down from 4.6 months the previous year.
The issue of low inventory is particularly pronounced in large metropolitan areas such as Los Angeles, New York City, Philadelphia, and San Francisco. In these cities, average inventory levels are below two months, which is significantly lower than the national average. Low inventory in these markets often leads to bidding wars, where buyers must compete with each other to purchase the same homes.
So what is causing the inventory shortage? One contributing factor is that fewer homes are being listed for sale. Another reason is that homeowners who are aging into retirement may be reluctant to downsize and move to smaller properties. Homeowners may also be unwilling to sell due to the fact that they cannot find a suitable house to move to. Additionally, homeowners may not have the equity to list their home.
The decrease in available housing is also impacting the rental market. Rising rents have made it difficult for many families to find affordable housing. This is particularly true in areas with limited inventory, where prices for both rental and for-sale properties are inflated.
Inventory shortages can have a significant impact on homeowners, buyers, and the housing market as a whole. It can lead to bidding wars, which drives up home prices. This, in turn, makes it more difficult for prospective buyers to enter the market. Low inventory also limits the choices for renters, making it increasingly difficult to find affordable housing.
To help address the inventory crisis, governments and housing advocates are looking at ways to increase the supply of homes. Possible solutions include loosening zoning laws, providing incentives for builders, and increasing the supply of public housing. All of these measures would help provide more options for buyers and renters.
The real estate inventory crisis is a worrying issue that is impacting the housing market in many parts of the United States. Low inventory leads to bidding wars, which drive up prices and prevent potential buyers from entering the market. The situation is particularly acute in large urban areas, where inventory levels are often below two months. To solve this problem, governmental and housing advocates are working to increase the supply of homes, either through loosening zoning laws or providing incentives for builders. Doing so would help ensure that everyone has access to affordable housing.
This article was contributed on Aug 16, 2023