Home Buyer

Photo courtesy of Metro Creative 

Buying in a seller’s market can be challenging. But some strategies can set buyers apart from the pack.

A combination of factors, including low interest rates and a pandemic-driven decision by many city dwellers to look for houses in the suburbs, has created a housing boom for much of 2020 and 2021. That boom has created an undeniable seller’s market in real estate.

Just what is a seller’s market? The financial resource Investopedia defines it as a marketplace in which there are fewer goods for sale than there are interested buyers, giving sellers the ability to dictate prices. Since mid-2020, there has been an extremely low inventory of homes for sale but a very high interest among purchasing parties.

Data from the National Association of Realtors indicated that, by the end of February 2021, housing inventory fell to a record low of 1.02 million units. These factors have led to a surge in competition from buyers, including bidding wars on homes and all-cash offers to entice sellers. In December 2020, the median listing prices for single-family homes shot up 13.4 percent from the same time the previous year, according to Realtor.com, and it hasn’t slowed down much since. Jeffrey Mezger, a 40-year veteran of the real estate industry and CEO of KB Home, says it’s the best seller’s housing market he’s seen in his career.

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