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Lower inventory means housing market favors sellers

We've written a lot on this blog about the improving real estate market, because its our business and because it's an exciting sign of a recovering economy. One major favor that has been driving down home prices over the last few years has been the high number of properties available for sale in a given area. High foreclosure and vacancy rates meant that a buyer had many options and could demand a lower price.

However, new sales data indicates that inventory on the housing market is lower than it has been in many metro areas, which means that sellers have a better possibility of getting their asking price for a home. Inventory in April was down to a six-month supply of homes on the market, which is considered a healthy number. This means that it would take at least six months to sell all of the homes currently listed.

The amount of time it would take to sell all available homes is even shorter in some markets, as low as three months in some major metro areas. Real estate agents are also saying that they are seeing more sellers who can choose between multiple offers, which is always a good thing for a competitive marketplace.

Buyers have become more cautions, said a spokesperson for a real estate brokerage firm. People are less eager to buy than they were before the housing bubble burst and are stepping back from the process after three or four unsuccessful offers. Caution is important for any potential home buyers, since taking your time can insure that you get the right price on the right property with terms of the agreement that a fair.

Source: Detroit Free Press, "Seller's market returns as homes for sale drop in some areas," Julie Schmit, May 25, 2012.

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