The Disappearing Home Inventory

It’s no secret to anyone driving through our Jacksonville neighborhoods that the number of “For Sale” signs is way down from years past.  And many of those homes that do have signs are no longer available; they are homes offered as a short sale that now have accepted contracts awaiting bank approval.

This morning I read on Zillow that we have approximately 9,500 homes for sale in our Multiple Listing Service.  That’s down from over 20,000 at the height of the recession.

Where did the homes for sale go?  Zillow graphs show a direct correlation between negative equity (percent of homes underwater) and the change in inventory of homes for sale.  Simply put, many sellers who wanted or tried to sell their homes during the recession can no longer afford to do so, because they now owe more on their home than its value.

What does this mean for a home seller or home buyer?  For a home seller, a drop in supply means an increase in demand.  Homes priced competitively are selling quickly,  frequently with multiple offers.  For a home buyer, prices are still down and interest rates remain at a historic lows.

Finally, a great time to buy or sell!

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