A homebuyer's market? Where sellers are losing their advantage

By U.S. EconomyFOXBusiness

Is home ownership still part of the American dream?

National Association of Home Builders CEO Jerry Howard on the state of the housing market.

An important shift could be happening in the housing market, where conditions are starting to look more favorable for buyers than sellers in some markets.

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According to a new study from online real estate marketplace Trulia, the shift is taking place largely in metro areas where affordability has become the biggest challenge.

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Half of the country’s 100 largest cities are showing signs of change, as measured by a number of indicators, including the percentage of listings with a price cut, median days on the market and the median sale-to-list price ratio.

Many of those cities are on the West Coast, where major metro areas have seen meaningful increases in home prices.

Las Vegas has seen the biggest shift, according to Trulia. Last year, the market was ranked the third worst market for buyers – this year it is ranked the fifth best.

San Jose, California, is the city where buyers are seeing the second-largest transformation in conditions, which moved up 92 spots in the rankings – slightly less than Las Vegas’ 93. Seattle also climbed 74 spots – shifting meaningfully up in the best market for buyers list.

Prices in these markets rose between 57 percent and 104 percent from 2013 to 2019. Home values, however, have begun appreciating more slowly throughout the past year.

Less dramatic shifts were also recorded in Denver and Dallas.

The report does note, however, that it is only the beginning of a trend. The market, as it currently sits, still largely favors sellers.

On a similar note, First American Deputy Chief Economist Odeta Kushi noted that significantly lower mortgage rates – when compared with last year – means the average consumer should be able to afford more.

“The good news for homebuyers and the housing market is house-buying power is at its second highest point in over two decades,” Kushi wrote in a blog post.

Experts previously told FOX Business excess inventory among luxury houses would limit upside price movement.

As of March, inventory of higher-end homes (priced $750,000 and higher) rose 11 percent year over year, according to Realtor.com.

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However, when it comes to lower-price homes, affordability is likely to continue to remain challenging. The number of homes priced at $200,000 and below in March was down 9 percent when compared with last year. A lack of inventory at those prices means buyers will be competing with one another to get the ideal home.