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Is the real estate inventory slump over?


Posted: January 09, 2019 by Anna Jotham

For years now, would-be homebuyers in our region have been hunting for the perfect property, only to find limited options for sale. For many, it’s been a discouraging stretch—the super-competitive housing market has left countless eager buyers unable to get an offer accepted, particularly in their targeted price range.

 

Good news for potential homebuyers, depending on market

But there’s good news on the horizon for potential homebuyers in Minnesota and Wisconsin: it looks as if what industry experts consider to be the country’s longest-running inventory slump may be coming to a close. In fact, housing inventory across the nation looks to have risen two percent at the start of this winter, versus the same time last year, according to inman.com.

Here in the Upper Midwest, homebuyers may need more patience than in other areas, as industry experts expect a slow easing of the market squeeze. Analysts expect the regional housing market will be similar to 2018, while slowly becoming more balanced.

 

Inventory may be up; affordability still a concern 

According to the data, the inventory shift is strongest in the country’s major markets, and as such, more than half of the largest markets in the nation saw more robust inventory than the same time last year. For some markets that meant increases of more than 30 percent over the previous year, including places like Seattle, San Francisco, Nashville and San Diego. But closer to home, in the Twin Cities Metro Area, experts say buyers may have to wait to see real shifts until 2020, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

That said, the inventory may be available but the combination of home pricing and increasing mortgage rates pose an additional challenge to home seekers. In fact, median home prices nationally showed a 7 percent increase—although less than the increases posed the previous year.

Others report that in some of the country’s hottest markets, prices seem to have been slashed, with housing becoming slightly more affordable to buyers. The situation is even being documented on an Instagram account named Cheap Old Houses. The National Association of Realtors reported in August that resales were experiencing the sixth consecutive decline, year-over-year. Indeed, what may be discouraging for sellers could be good news for those who are house hunting.

 

2019 Housing inventory looks good—if you have the money

The Washington Post reports that nationally the inventory of homes for sale is projected to increase in the coming year. But it’s not all good news. Listings are primarily expected to increase in more expensive housing in pricey markets. So if you’re hunting for high-end housing, you may find more attractive options at a better price, but if you’re a first time homebuyer the results may still be discouraging. In fact, the challenge of finding and getting a first home for new buyers is expected to get tougher, and even median-priced properties are expected to sell quickly when they are appropriately priced.

 

For more information on the housing market in the coming year, check out the Realtor.com 2019 National Housing Forecast.






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