Real estate experts agree that inventory challenges will likely persist into the new year. Currently, overall inventory for existing single-family homes and multifamily homes stands at 1.67 million, according to November data provided by the National Association of Realtors.
"We have gone 29 months seeing overall inventory decline on a yearly basis, and that's had a long-lasting effect on the market," said Javier Vivas, director of economic research at Realtor.com. "That should keep the total number of homes for sale constricted for the good part of next year. However, based on movement we detected this year, we also expect those inventory declines to decelerate slowly throughout next year, and overall inventory could stop shrinking as early as fall 2018. Growth in new construction will be key for that recovery." Svenja Gudell, chief economist at Zillow, said that, today, there are 12 percent fewer homes for buyers to choose from then there were just three years ago, and that, as of October, more than half of U.S. homes for sale were in the top one-third of home values. In other words, pricey.
"Inventory will remain a major concern in 2018, continuing to play a significant role in pushing up prices," said Gudell, who predicted it will remain a seller's market in the new year. "It will create particularly strong headwinds for first-time homebuyers, who don't have the benefit of profits from a prior home sale to boost their down payment and make them more competitive."
- Inman News, December 21, 2017