US homes market experiencing a shortage of properties for sale at lower end

Taylor Scott International News

More higher priced homes in the US are being put up for sale but there is still a shortage of lower priced homes on the market, new research suggests. Buyers searching for homes will find more homes for sale overall, but supply of lower priced homes is growing more slowly than high priced homes in most of the country, according to the latest home value index from Zillow. Overall, median home values rose 6.4% from October 2013 and 0.4% from September. Both monthly and annual home value gains were well below the faster paces recorded earlier in the year. Rising inventory and slowing home value growth are two signs that the housing market is beginning to level off across the nation. As the market has cooled, buyers looking for less expensive homes did find some relief in the hottest metro areas, including San Diego, Los Angeles and the Bay Area. In San Francisco, the number of low priced homes on the market rose by 39% but there were fewer high priced homes on the market. While inventory was still tight there in October, the homes that were available spread evenly across the price spectrum. National rents were up 3.5% in October from a year ago. Month on month national rents were flat compared with September. Inventory of all homes nationwide rose by 15.8% year on year. A breakdown of the figures shows that in the bottom home price market it increased by 68.3% while in the top home price tier it rose 82.2%. In Denver, there were almost four times as many homes available for sale in the upper price tier, that is homes priced at $357,900 or more, than there were homes priced in the lowest price tier at less than $219,000. The same was true in many other markets. Dallas, Atlanta, Phoenix and Nashville had at least two times more homes for sale in the top tier than the bottom tier. In 25 of the 35 largest metros analysed there were more homes for sale this October than last October in all three price tiers. In 14 of those metros, the increase in number of homes for sale was in the double digits in all price tiers. ‘Depending on their finances, it's likely that individual buyers in the same market might be having completely different home buying experiences. Even as conditions improve for buyers overall, it remains a tough row to hoe for first time buyers and lower income buyers, especially compared to their more well off contemporaries,’ said Zillow chief economist Stan Humphries. Continue reading →

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