Inventory Is Tight in This Price Bracket

March 15, 2016

Just as more first-time home buyers are stepping into home ownership, lower-priced homes are increasingly difficult to find in many housing markets. The number of homes for-sale below $100,000 plunged 8.6 percent in January compared to a year earlier.

On the other hand, luxury home buyers are finding more to choose from: homes above $1 million increased 15 percent year-over-year, according to housing data from the National Association of REALTORS®.

“The lower the price, the smaller the growth in the number of homes on the market,” The Wall Street Journal reports. “Lower-priced homes [are] selling quickly even as inventory of expensive ones piles up.”

High-end buyers, on the other hand, are more sensitive to stock-market changes and some may be delaying purchases recently – which may explain why inventory is rising in the higher brackets, analysts note.

"In certain price points, it's really tough for buyers right now. There's limited inventory and lots of demand," Alec Traub, a Los Angeles real estate professional, told The Wall Street Journal.

For example, in the Phoenix area, real estate pro Cami Elliott says that a buyer she recently assisted had more than 45 potential homes to view in the $750,000 range. But buyers looking for a home close to $4000,000, only had about three or four options, Elliott told The Wall Street Journal.

Overall, the housing market nationwide has about a four-month supply of existing homes for sale, according to NAR. Most economists consider six months to be a more balanced, healthy housing market.

Source: “Housing Market Takes on Split Levels,” The Wall Street Journal (March 9, 2016) [Log-in required.]