Home prices are up. Mortgage rates are at multi-decade highs. And yet bidding wars are back. There appears to be no immediate respite in sight for first-time buyers hoping to get a foothold on the property ladder, according to the latest data from Realtor.com released on Thursday, which looked at housing inventory in the top 300 metro areas.
Active inventory — the number of homes are on the market across the U.S. — fell by 6.4% year-over-year in July. New home listings — which refer to homes appearing on the market for the first time — fell by 21% from the same period last year. “Summer tends to bring ample buyer demand as well as growing home supply as households look to make big changes between school terms,” Hannah Jones, economic data analyst at Realtor.com, told MarketWatch. But buyer demand has been lower this summer compared to previous years, and supply has not been plentiful. “Limited housing supply means that even with fewer buyers looking, many areas are seeing fierce competition for homes,” Jones added. (Realtor.com is operated by News Corp.
subsidiary Move Inc. MarketWatch is a unit of Dow Jones, also a subsidiary of News Corp.).A long, hot summer of low inventory “Inventory is incredibly low this summer,” Jeff Tucker, senior economist at Zillow
told MarketWatch. Approximately 4 out of 10 homes were sold above the list price, as of the middle of June, the company said. In 2018, less than one-third of home sales were sold for over the list price. People who thought that the pendulum was swinging in the other direction — and that the market is cooling down — will likely find those figures surprising, Tucker said. “That did not come to pass.”Where is housing inventory getting worse? In July, inventory fell the sharpest in Stockton, Calif. (down 56%), followed by the Bay Area (down 52%), and the San Diego-Chula Vista-Carlsbad metro area (down 46%), Realtor.com said. The median price of homes in Stockton are $449,000. In the …