Shopping for a home these days is a miserable slog. The buyers who walk away with a set of keys succeed against long odds, prevailing despite skyrocketing prices and relentless competition. Even as the U.S. housing market shows signs of cooling, buyers are still feeling enormous pressure to move quickly before interest rates rise further, pushing more homes out of reach. At the center of this overheated market is a historic supply shortage. Simply put, there are nowhere near enough houses for all the people who want to buy them.
The shortage could be described as a collapse, according to Jonathan Miller, president of Miller Samuel Real Estate Appraisers and Consultants, who tracks 40 housing markets around the country. Even if inventory tripled in some markets, home buyers would still be scrambling. “This is bordering on anarchy,” he says. “Demand has obliterated supply.”
The seeds of the crunch were planted in spring 2020, when Americans found themselves unshackled from their commutes and collectively decided the time was ripe for a move as they spread out in search of more space. At the same time, existing homeowners opted to stay put, while cash-flush investors snatched up single-family homes at a startling clip. By March 2022, buyers had half as many homes to choose from as they had two years earlier. The homes sold twice as fast and cost 34% more, with buyers twice as likely to pay above list price, according to Redfin.
Yet a bidding war also produces a winner. Often it’s a battered veteran of the pandemic market, couples who honed their negotiating strategies over the course of multiple disappointments, finally finding a house when success seemed hopeless. Along the way, they learned valuable lessons about how to outflank the competition and come away with not another defeat, but …read more
Source:: Time – Business