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Real Estate: Inventory of Unsold Homes Growing Steadily Across the Nation

By Monte Helme

The nation's inventory of unsold homes - an important component of a more balanced housing market in the second half of 2005 - is growing steadily in many areas of the country even though buyer demand continues strong, according to the latest HouseHunt, Inc., quarterly "Current Market Conditions survey. The percentage of member real estate agents reporting plentiful vs. limited supplies increased from 33% in the first quarter to 38% in April, May and June.

Exceptions would be South Florida, Arizona, Southern California and certain other housing and job growth hot spots.

Market equilibrium would be attained when the present 4.3-month national housing supply increases to about six months, or about a 50-50 buyer-seller ratio.

HouseHunt, Inc., is a consumer-oriented Internet firm that provides valuable free information to homeowners, home buyers and home sellers. Survey results are based on Current Market Conditions sales data reported by HouseHunt's Exclusive Agent Referral Network (EARN) members in 47 states.

Survey results also included:

"Average national home price appreciation slowed to eight to 10% on an annualized basis in the second quarter as compared to higher, more substantial double-digit price increases in 12-month comparisons in the past two to three years.

"First-time buyer activity declined from 40% in the first quarter of this year to 35% in the second quarter even though mortgage interest rates continued near historic lows and funding is available and relatively easy to find in interest-only and other exotic loans.

"Nine of 10 home sellers are getting 95% or more of their asking prices. Nearly half of those are getting 100% or more. An overwhelming majority of sellers are still getting multiple offers.

"Sixty-five percent of listings are selling in 30 days or less.

Michael Bearden, president and CEO of HouseHunt, Inc., welcomes the near-term probability of a slower-paced, more balanced housing market: "This would be positive news for consumers, particularly for first time and other entry level home buyers. Slower appreciation and a plentiful supply of unsold homes would certainly energize the entire market in all price ranges. It would also dissipate fears of a housing bubble price collapse."

HouseHunt's two primary websites, www.HouseHunt.com and www.moveUp.com, offer consumers free information on local communities, free on-line access to property listings, free on-line sales data on recent home sales in their neighborhoods, free electronic property-matching (where available), buying and selling information, and access to some of the nation's top-producing and most knowledgeable real estate agents regardless of brand affiliation or geographic limitations.

About The Author

Monte Helme is a national public relations consultant with HouseHunt, Inc. Previously, he was vice president of public relations and publications for Century 21 Real Estate Corp.; vice president of communications for AmeriNet Financial Services (now LendingTree); assistant city editor/Orange County for the Los Angeles Times; executive sports editor of the Rockford, IL, Morning Star and Register-Republic; and reporter for the Dixon, IL, Evening-Telegraph. Find real estate, homes for sale through public MLS,and check what my home is worth by visiting websites: HouseHunt.com and moveUp.com powered by HouseHunt, Inc.

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