The pace of home sales in California and around the country generally picks up during the spring and summer months, but recent reports suggest that today’s buyers have a dwindling supply of houses to choose from. Desirable homes are being snapped within days of being listed, and bidding wars are becoming increasingly common. The problem is especially acute at the entry level, and realtors say that it is not uncommon for sellers to receive a dozen or more offers for affordable properties.
Figures from the National Association of Realtors indicate that the supply of homes across the country is down by more than 6 percent since the 2016 spring sales season, and most homes that were listed in March were snapped up quickly by anxious buyers. Experts say that a healthy residential real estate market should have a five or six month supply of homes, but current available inventories would be exhausted in less than four months according to the NAR.
Market forces dictate that prices rise when supply falls, and industry data reveals that year-over-year house prices across the country were up by 5.7 percent in February. Homes listed in March 2016 remained on the market for an average of 47 days, but that figure has now fallen to just 34 days. The data suggests that residential real estate markets are particularly fierce in Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York.
When buyers and sellers do reach an agreement, they generally want to settle matters as quickly as possible. Attorneys with experience in residential real estate transactions may help them to achieve this goal by ordering title reports promptly and addressing any issues that arise. Mechanic’s liens, judgments and pending litigation can delay home sales or derail them completely, but they can be considerably less troublesome when they are caught early.