Hot U.S. Housing Market to Get Supply Boost With New Listings

Americans who’ve struggled to find an affordable starter home may soon get a break, according to a Realtor.com survey that found that many owners wary of listing during the pandemic are getting ready to do so now.

The real-estate listings website expects about 10% of the nation’s homes to hit the market this year, up from 8% in a typical year. The survey also found that 58% of the houses that owners plan to sell this year are valued below $350,000.

“The fact that we’re seeing such a significant potential in entry level and affordable inventory getting ready to come to market is to me a really encouraging sign,” said George Ratiu, senior economist at Realtor.com.

Soaring demand and a limited number of properties available has triggered bidding wars in certain parts of the U.S. in recent months, even for run-of-the-mill houses.

Data from Zillow Group Inc., the online real-estate company, also suggests that constraints in inventories are set to ease. Zillow saw a 30% rise in new inventory from late February to late March, a sign that the industry is returning to the traditional pattern of home listings in the spring.

Inventory Logjam

Still, the logjam on the supply side that predated the Covid-19 crisis isn’t going to end any time soon. The housing market has been struggling to keep up with demand since the 2010s, when the number of new homes built was slashed in half compared with the previous decade.

Inventory levels were under-supplied by about 3.8 million homes at the beginning of 2020, according to Ratiu, the Realtor.com economist.

Among homeowners in the Realtor.com survey who planned to put their house on the market in the next two to three years, a quarter said they can’t sell this year because they can’t find a new home within their price range.

Hot U.S. Housing Market to Get Supply Boost With New Listings

For those who are able to sell their existing house, now is a good time. The median selling price jumped 17.2% year-over-year to $329,100 in March, the highest in records dating back to 1999, according to National Association of Realtors.

Realtor.com commissioned HarrisX to conduct a national online survey of consumers. The total sample size was 3,998 adults, of which 657 were potential home sellers during the week of March 29.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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