With the lowest level of inventory in nearly 40 years, the 2021 spring market has homebuyers facing a level of competition not seen in a generation.
Inventory of existing and new single-family homes for sale is at its lowest since 1982, according to recent data from the National Association of Realtors. Homes for sale hit a historic low at the end of February, at 1.07 million, the equivalent of just 1.8 months of average monthly sales of 582,917, a near-historic low. In 70% of metro areas, demand is outstripping supply.
Calling the lack of inventory “dire,” with 375 out of 381 metro areas posting double digit-declines, NAR’s report found active listings rose in only 1% of metro areas year over year. Active listings dropped 42.8% in Chicago.
That low inventory is continuing to drive up prices nationwide.
In March, listing prices rose at double-digit rates in 64% of metro areas, including Chicago, where the median list price rose 11.1%.
The report found the expectation of rising mortgage rates, which are at historic lows, will continue to drive today’s demand. NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun said he expects them to hover under 3.5% for the rest of the year.