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Buyers’ Biggest Hurdle in June? Lack of Inventory

Today’s buyers have 27.4% fewer homes to choose from than they did one year ago, though in Fla. it ranges from 31.4% near Tampa to 9.4% in South Fla.

SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Buyer demand has risen thanks to record-low mortgage rates and frustration after spending time quarantined in less-than-ideal housing. As a result, sellers who enter the market find continually rising prices and, many times, competitive bids for their property.

But more sellers may be avoiding a potentially strong summer housing market, according to realtor.com’s June Monthly Housing Trends report. Economists found that housing inventory – the number of homes actively available for sale – continues to decline.

Nationally, housing inventory was down 27.4% year-to-year in June, which translates into 363,000 fewer homes listed for sale.

Some Florida metro areas have an even greater drop in inventory, but some have less. In a year-to-year comparison, four metros showed a year-to-year decline ranging from 31.4% to 9.4%:

  • Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater: Inventory down 31.4%
  • Jacksonville: Down 21.8%
  • Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford: Down 14.4%
  • Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach: Down 9.4%

Newly listed properties – ones that came onto the market within the past month – may suggest future improvements, and in Florida, one metro area even saw an increase. Also, every Florida metro bested the national average with rates ranging from an 18.6% decline to a 2.5% increase:

  • Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater: Inventory down 18.6%
  • Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford: Down 17.5%
  • Jacksonville: Down 0.8%
  • Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach: An increase of 2.5%

Nationally, the volume of newly listed properties was down 19.3% over last year – but that’s an improvement over the 44.1% and 29.4% year-over-year declines posted in April and May, respectively.

“Our June data reinforces that buyers are out in force and serious about finding a home,” says realtor.com Chief Economist Danielle Hale. But “inventory continues to decline, indicating that what is coming onto the market is selling.”

Hale says the overall real estate market has shown resilience, “but conditions vary market by market. In particular, the nation’s largest metros are seeing a better new listings trend and smaller increase in the time it takes for a home to sell, which could signal they may lead the recovery.”

© 2020 Florida Realtors®