Too few sellers, tight material supplies make life difficult for home buyers

Mitchell Hartman Oct 22, 2021
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A house for sale in San Rafael, California. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Too few sellers, tight material supplies make life difficult for home buyers

Mitchell Hartman Oct 22, 2021
Heard on:
A house for sale in San Rafael, California. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
HTML EMBED:
COPY

We’ve received many mixed signals in housing market data this week. 

Existing-home sales rose 7% in September, according to the National Association of Realtors — a surprising increase, given how few homes are on the market for sale right now. 

But home builders filed permits for fewer new homes in September than earlier in the summer.  

Demand for homes is through the roof right now, but people who own homes aren’t selling in large numbers, and builders can’t get materials and workers, said Mike Fratantoni at the Mortgage Bankers Association.

“Strong demand and constrained supply is leading to a big run-up in home prices,” he said.

Prices are up more than 13% since last year, “primarily impacting first-time homebuyers – we’re seeing the share of first-time home buyers decline,” Fratantoni said.

As the economy continues to reopen, Jeff Tucker at Zillow predicts that buyers will see more homes for sale and fewer crazy bidding wars or offers way over asking price.

“Forecasts show a deceleration in price-growth. But less bad news is not the same as good news for first-time buyers,” Tucker said.

Meanwhile, the Mortgage Bankers Association predicts mortgage rates will rise to 4% by late next year. Low by historic standards, but maybe still too much for some would-be first-timers.

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