Housing supply is insanely low right now. It’s getting ridiculous. Why is it so low? Let’s make a list. Please add your take in the comments.
SOME REASONS WHY HOUSING SUPPLY IS LOW
1) Not listing during the pandemic: Sellers aren’t listing as often during the pandemic. This has been common in many markets across the country, and in Sacramento in particular where monthly inventory is down about 50% right now compared to last year.
2) More demand: Mortgage rates below 3% have caused buyers to jump off the fence and basically gut the market. Thus increased demand has depleted listing inventory (which was already low).
3) Lack of new construction: We’ve had population growth in the midst of anemic new construction since the housing bubble burst. In other words, we haven’t built enough units and we’re really beginning to feel the sting of it. Check out this visual from FRED to show housing starts today compared with 2005.
4) Shift in demographics: People are staying in their homes longer and therefore not selling as often. Last year Redfin published research stating owners are staying in their homes an average of thirteen years instead of eight years, which means there aren’t as many homes being listed for sale.
5) Increased migration: Some markets are seeing more buyers from outside the area flocking to the neighborhood. Lots of Californians of course are leaving the state and heading to Idaho, Nevada, Texas, and all the usual suspects, but who is coming to the market? There isn’t one definitive easy source to track migration unfortunately, but Bay Area buyers have seemed to have an increased focus on the region. In fact, LinkedIn recently published stats showing a 7.6% increase in net arrivals in Sacramento.
6) Nowhere to go: Some owners would list but they feel there’s nowhere to go because homes are too expensive or inventory is too thin.
7) Shift in home size: We’ve been building larger homes for decades now, which could eliminate the need for some folks to buy something else because they are satisfied and able to stay put. During the pandemic of course we’ve seen buyers target larger homes.
8) Other: Blackstone and investment funds purchase thousands of homes that have not resold on the open market. I wouldn’t say this is the reason inventory is thin, but it’s worth mentioning. We’ve also had wildfires in portions of California where homes have not been rebuilt.
9) Not a distressed market: We used to have more listings because of all the distressed sales, but we just don’t have that sort of market any longer. Bank-owned sales (REO) represent about 1% of all sales in Sacramento County as well as the region, and short sales are even rarer.
10) What else? Did I miss something? Please comment below.
I hope that was interesting or helpful. Thanks for being here.
Questions: What point stands out to you the most? Why is inventory so low right now? I’d love to hear your take.