The biggest challenge the housing market’s facing is how few homes there are for sale. Mark Fleming, Chief Economist at First American, explains the root causes of today’s low supply:
“Two dynamics are keeping existing-home inventory historically low – rate-locked existing homeowners and the fear of not finding something to buy.”
Let’s break down these two big issues in today’s housing market.
According to the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), the average interest rate for current homeowners with mortgages is less than 4% (see graph below):
But today, the typical mortgage rate offered to buyers is over 6%. As a result, many homeowners are opting to stay put instead of moving to another home with a higher borrowing cost. This is a situation known as being rate locked. When so many homeowners are rate locked and reluctant to sell, it’s a challenge for a housing market that needs more inventory. However, experts project mortgage rates will gradually fall this year, and that could mean more people will be willing to move as that happens.
The Fear of Not Finding Something To Buy
The other factor holding back potential sellers is the fear of not finding another home to buy if they move. Worrying about where they’ll go has left many on the sidelines as they wait for more homes to come to the market. That’s why, if you’re on the fence about selling, it’s important to consider all your options. That includes newly built homes, especially right now when builders are offering concessions like mortgage rate buydowns.
What Does This Mean for You?
These two issues are keeping the supply of homes for sale lower than pre-pandemic levels. But if you want to sell your house, today’s market is a sweet spot that can work to your advantage.
Be sure to work with a local real estate professional to explore the options you have right now, which could include leveraging your current home equity. According to ATTOM:
“. . . 48 percent of mortgaged residential properties in the United States were considered equity-rich in the fourth quarter, meaning that the combined estimated amount of loan balances secured by those properties was no more than 50 percent of their estimated market values.”
This could make a major difference when you move. Rate-locked homeowners and the fear of not finding something to buy are keeping housing inventory low across the country. However, as mortgage rates start to come down this year and homeowners explore all their options, we should expect more homes to come to the market.
Hey Inland Empire, I’m Candice Newman! I’ve had the incredible fortune of being born and raised in this amazing community, and I couldn’t imagine living anywhere else. I currently live in Alta Loma with my husband, Jonathan, our son, Trevor, and our dog, Ruger! I’m a real estate agent with a passion for finding new places to explore in the Foothill Communities. When I'm not selling homes, you can find me cheering my son on at his baseball games, exercising, spending time in our local mountains, heading to the lake, cooking, or watching the Dodgers slay the Giants (I was born and raised an Angels fan, but the Dodgers have taken over the household!). I'll never have enough Mexican food and Italian food in my life. I’m looking forward to connecting with you soon! See you around town! Candice.Newman.Realty@gmail.com | (909)367-3280 DRE: 01924842