The couple-- a young lawyer, his teacher wife and their two little children from the Boston area approached me last summer to help them find a second home on Cape Cod.
The supply was decent but not abundant, and we were optimistic we could find something. They wanted three bedrooms, two bathrooms and did not wish to spend more than $350,000. Easy, right?
One by one, properties that had potential sold quickly to someone else and as the end of summer neared, the supply dwindled. The couple hoped more listings would hit the market once home sellers enjoyed their last vacation season on the Cape. But that off-season surge of properties did not appear. And now, going into the holidays, the couple says they are hoping for a "better 2014".
Thus is the story of home buying this year. With buyers on the sidelines with pent-up demand after the Great Recession, all that stands in the way of a robust housing recovery is the supply of homes for sale. There simply are not enough of them.
Those homes that do go on the market are often gobbled up with buyers paying cash -- as many as one in five nationwide and one in three on Cape Cod. And the number of buyers purchasing a home smaller than they own now-- exactly the size of young families moving up, is greater than the number of upsizers -- 19 percent to 15 percent, according to a new report by the National Association of Realtors. In other words, that small to medium-sized home of 1,200 to 2,700 square feet is sought by nearly half of all buyers.
The survey reveals a predicted rough home buying winter season ahead, with a full 45 percent stating they believe the supply of homes for sale in their price range is inadequate.
Here are some other findings of the NAR report:
Biggest challenges when searching for a home during winter:
Top reasons consumers are looking to buy a home in winter:
The current purchase status of those surveyed includes the following:
Amount of cash winter home buyers are planning to use for their down payment:
Of those planning to use all cash, the respondents fall into the following categories:
So, after reading these statistics, if you're thinking about selling your home, please do it now. Thank you. :)