AgentMarkets & Economy

New listings fall short in housing inventory drought’s 3rd year

Do February's market reports indicate the best seller's market in a generation?
  • New listings are lagging last year’s levels and failing to fill the gaping holes in the nation’s inventory.
  • Tight inventories -- and demand that seems impervious to modestly higher rates -- have set the table for sellers.

February is a critical month, a time when the spring market is opening in warmer states and is just weeks away in the upper Midwest and New England. In a typical year, it's a month when the best stagers are booked, painters are busy, landscapers are trimming hedges and sodding lawns of homes soon to be listed, and agents are educating new sellers about the realities of the marketplace. This year may not be so typical. New listings are lagging last year’s levels and failing the fill the gaping holes in the nation’s inventory. Through February, this year’s deficits range from 6 to 17 percent below last year. To make matters worse, we are in the third year of a grave and persistent inventory drought. Tight inventories and demand that seems impervious to modestly higher rates have set the table for sellers, who will feast on the best sellers’ market since in peak of the boom in most markets during the next two months. Will it be enough to turn loose a food of listin...