Attention hopeful home buyers: Get ready for a tough road ahead. This spring is likely to be a seller’s market thanks to low inventory and high demand. The demand is sky high thanks to low mortgage rates. Everyone, it seems, wants to take advantage.
According to the National Association of Realtors, at the end of January, there were 1.42 million single-family homes on the market. While that was up 2.2 percent compared to December, it was down 10.7 percent from the same period in 2018. As USA Today reports, that January mark was the lowest it has been since the late 90s.
The low housing inventory is tough on buyers particularly because it’s combined with low mortgage rates. As of this week, the average rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage was just 3.56 percent. That’s the lowest mortgage rates have been since 2016. When rates are low, people want to go house shopping.
The fact that there are fewer homes coupled with high demand has also led to — you guessed it — higher prices. In January, the median sale price for single-family homes was $306,000. That’s up six percent from 2019.
If you’re hoping to buy a home this spring, don’t give up. Be patient and don’t rush into buying a home that doesn’t feel right and/or you can’t afford. There will always be more homes for sale. You should also ask friends and family for a local realtor they’d recommend. Working with a skilled, trusted realtor will make this tough market easier to navigate.