Real Estate Market Reaches Equilibrium between Buyers and Sellers

Three months ago, the “Current Market Conditions” survey showed that overall the U.S. housing market was displaying a rare balance between buyer demand and seller supply for the first time in eight years. The latest quarterly survey shows that equilibrium has been achieved — 41% of real estate agents said more buyers than sellers; 40% said there were more sellers than buyers, and 19% reported a 50-50 balance.
Most notable exceptions are in the Northeast, Chicago metro area, and in the Western states. (See Second Quarter chart.) Home buyers outnumber sellers by considerable margins in Chicago and the West, while sellers outnumber buyers in the Northeast.
Additional proof of a balanced nationwide housing market between buyers and sellers was reported by the National Association of Realtors, which estimated a 6.5 month supply of unsold homes in its May report. An inventory supply of 5.5 to 6.0 months is considered balanced.
The second quarter national survey also found:

• Fifty-six percent of real estate agents said it is now on average, taking more than 60 days from listing to contract to sell a house. This is up from 55% in the first quarter and 35% a year ago. Twenty- eight percent said it is taking more than 90 days to contract. Only 15% of existing homes for sale are selling in 30 days or less.

• Housing inventories are continuing to increase: 86% now report a good supply of homes in virtually all price ranges. This is up from 81% in the first quarter and 38% a year ago.
• Sixty-six percent of member agents reported that annual home price appreciation is now five percent or less. This is down from 8-10% a year ago. Home price appreciation of more than 10% is now 16%, on average.

• The percentage of home sellers getting 95% or more of asking prices is currently 68%, compared to 90% a year ago. Three months ago it was 75%.

• Multiple offers from home buyers are also down substantially. Currently, the estimate is 32%. It was 39% in the first quarter and 70% a year ago.

• First-time buyers still account for one of three homes for sale nationally. Repeat and move-up buyers are most active in higher priced real estate markets. Recent home price appreciation and rising mortgage rates & interest rates have had only a minimal negative effect on first-time buyers, on average. Exceptions are marginal qualifiers.

“We welcome a balanced, more orderly marketplace for both the consumer and real estate professionals,” said Michael Bearden, president and CEO of HouseHunt, Inc. “Double-digit price appreciation is simply not sustainable for a multi-year period and will eventually drive away entry level buyers.“

Second Quarter Current Market Conditions Survey: Regional Results

U.S. South Midwest Northeast West California* Chicago*

More Buyers
41% 40% 49% 30% 47% 39% 50%
More Sellers
40% 44% 30% 50% 34% 41% 19%

50-50
19% 16% 21% 20% 19% 20% 31%

Time on Market:

0-60 days
44% 35% 31% 48% 49% 49% 35%

More than 60 days
56% 65% 69% 51% 51% 51% 65%

Sale vs. Ask Price:

90-95%
35% 35% 29% 37% 26% 29% 34%

95% -100% Plus
65% 65% 71% 63% 74% 71% 66%

Annual Apprec.:

5% or less
66% 57% 70% 73% 65% 75% 61%

5-10%
18% 30% 20% 19% 15% 11% 31%

More than 10%
16% 13% 10% 8% 20% 14% 8%

Inventory:

Good Supply
86% 86% 90% 96% 83% 90% 92%

Limited Supply
14% 14% 10% 4% 17% 10% 8%

Multiple offers:

Yes
32% 35% 33% 34% 32% 18% 55%

No
68% 65% 67% 66% 68% 82% 45%

Activity:

First Time Buyers
33% 34% 41% 47% 42% 44% 35%

Move-Up & Repeat
67% 66% 59% 53% 58% 56% 65%

*California survey percentages are included in both U.S. and West results.
**Chicago Metro survey percentages are included in both .U.S. and Midwest results.

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