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, and distressed sales (foreclosures and short sales) have fallen to their lowest points in years. It seems that the market will continue to strengthen in 2018.
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 year, supply is not keeping up.
Here are the thoughts of a few industry experts on the subject:
Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist of National Association of Realtors
“A majority of the country saw an upswing in buyer interest at the end of last year, which ultimately ended up putting even more strain in inventory levels and prices…These consistent, multi-year price gains have certainly been great news for homeowners, and especially for those who were at one time in a negative equity situation.”
Dr. Frank Nothaft, Chief Economist for CoreLogic
“The number of homes for sale has remained very low, job growth lowered the unemployment rate to 4.1 percent by year’s end, the lowest level in 17 years. Rising income and consumer confidence has increased the number of prospective homebuyers. The net result of rising demand and limited for-sale inventory is a continued appreciation in home prices.”
Bill Banfield, Quicken Loans Executive VP of Capital Markets
“Low inventory of homes available for sale and a growing economy has led to steadily rising home values as indicated by the string annual increase of the HVI (Home Value Index). The recent increase in interest rates could test affordability in the short run, but the desire to own a home remains on firm ground and may ultimately help normalize the inventory issues.”
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.