Saturday, August 18, 2012

Low inventory of homes for sale frustrating Tampa buyers

Homebuyers are increasingly finding it difficult to find the right home to purchase due to dwindling inventories of homes for sale on the market.  They are finding it particularly difficult to purchase homes in move in condition under $200,000 and higher priced homes in the most desirable neighborhoods.

Additionally when a new listing comes on the market, they are finding that they must act quickly and very often find themselves in a bidding war on the home and may have to offer above list price! 

The following chart shows the drop in the year to date residential listings as reported by the Greater Tampa Association of Realtors:

The Florida Association of Realtors reports the following data reflecting the drop in inventory for single family homes in Tampa Bay over the past few years:

So, what's the cause of this drop in inventories? 
  • Less foreclosures on the market
  • Many Short Sale/Pre-foreclosure homes are under contract in Short Sale purgatory waiting for an answer from the Sellers' lender(s).
  • There is a large percentage of homeowners who are underwater on their homes and can't afford to sell at today's low values.
  • Investors have purchased a lot of the lower priced inventory.
  • Record low mortgage interest rates and concerns that home values are moving up have many first time homebuyers in the hunt.
There are less than 40 Wesley Chapel single family homes on the market that are not short sales that are priced below $200,000 and 20 priced below $150,000, and there are less than 20 New Tampa single family homes (not short sales) on the market listed below $200,000.

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