Homeowners Need Convincing: It's Safe to Sell Now
Fears says shortages are especially acute among lower-priced properties that appeal to first-time home buyers.
NAR figures also show extremely low inventories in parts of Texas, North Dakota (which is enjoying an oil boom) and California.
For example, Greater Los Angeles has just a 3.8-month supply of available homes -- roughly half the 6.5- to seven-month inventory Realtors consider sufficient to meet demand.
L.A.'s available listings are also a far cry from the 19.9-month backlog that the California Association of Realtors says the area saw in September 2007 during the depths of the bust.In Ventura, Heyrend says house-hunters often find themselves in bidding wars even when they offer more than a home's list price. But the shortage is great news for sellers, reducing the time it takes to move their homes even as property values rise. Ventura County's median house price hit $461,960 last month -- a 17.7% gain from February 2012 -- and Heyrend says any realistically priced house listed for $400,000 or less will sell within two weeks. That said, Fears believes today's shortages will end in two years or less as rising prices cut investor demand and many underwater homeowners manage to get "above water" and sell. He also says builders only need around 18 months to bring new supply to the market. Heyrend expects the market to balance out even more quickly in her town, with more homeowners listing properties this summer as they hear about rising prices. "I think sellers will eventually say: 'Man, I can finally make some money on my home,'" she says.
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Upgrade/downgrade alerts
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
- Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV