Housing Shortage Will Dampen Spring Market

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The housing recovery is progressing, but a shortage of homes on the market will limit the number of home sales this spring selling season, industry insiders say. 

"If we don't see more people listing their properties, I don't think we will see the home sales volume increase that we are accustomed to seeing," Glenn Kelman, chief executive officer of Redfin told Reuters. "There are far more buyers than there are sellers on the market. We would have a huge boom spurred by low interest rates if there were more inventory on the market."

Still, the National Association of REALTORS® predicts existing-home sales will rise around 7 or 8 percent this spring compared to year ago levels. 

In some areas where inventories are particularly constrained—like Washington, D.C., New York, and several California cities—homes are selling within hours of being placed on the market. 

"The demand for properties is insane. The bidding wars that are going on, there is not enough inventory and it has become truly a seller's market again," says Neil Garfinkel, real estate attorney at Abrams Garfinkel Margolis Bergson in New York.

Source: “Analysis: Supply crunch to take steam out of home sales,” Reuters (April 3, 2013)