Buy & Sell with Vicki Koeune

Homebuyers, the market’s just not that into you

Potential homebuyers entering the housing market this fall will face a harsh and somewhat confusing reality: It looks like a buyer’s market, but it’s not.

The inventory of for-sale homes, including foreclosed properties, continues to shrink in many parts of the country. As a result, it will probably take longer for buyers to find their ideal home. And they may not necessarily find the bargains they expect.

Yes, there are good deals today, especially in the distressed-property market, But because the inventory is so greatly reduced, it is more difficult to get your offer accepted. There are bidding wars going on in many parts of the country.

The average inventory of homes for sale nationwide was about 4.6 months in August, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

But the market hasn’t really turned into a seller’s market yet. Many underwater homeowners have taken their homes off the market, contributing to the low inventory levels. And there are millions of foreclosures in the pipeline that will eventually hit the for-sale market.

There are still a lot of foreclosure properties that we have to work through, We won’t have a sustainable recovery until that happens.

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