Housing market warms to buyers

For housing, it has been a seller’s market for many months but now, with low supplies and rising prices, this trend could be reversing.

An analysis of the housing market by First American Chief Economist Mark Fleming and Senior Economist Odeta Kushi noted that housing inventories have increased modestly since December 2017, which marked a 25-year-low point.

In December 2017, only 166 homes out of 10,000 were for sale. In July 2018, this number increased to 174 per 10,000. According to Fleming, “While this is still very low, it’s the first time we’ve reached this level since July 2017 and a slight improvement from December’s 25-year-low point.”

The supply shortage is easing only in higher-end homes nationally. In July, the inventory of homes worth less than $200,000 was down 15.6 percent nationally versus a year ago, while the supply of homes that cost more than $350,000 increased 5.7 percent – with the economists citing realtor.com data.

According to Fleming and Kushi, potential homeowners should still “take heart” from the recent inventory increase and the slowdown in price appreciation, which are potential signals of good news for those interested in buying a home.

“These factors indicate that the seller’s market may be coming to an end. It’s been six years since the end of the last one, but the rare buyer’s market may be the housing market’s future,” according to Fleming.

On Tuesday, the National Association of Home Builders' monthly confidence index was released. It was unchanged at 67 in September with builders continuing to fret rising costs.