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Logan Mohtashami on existing home sales, mortgage rates

Today’s HousingWire Daily begins the Rundown miniseries where HousingWire’s Editor-in-Chief Sarah Wheeler and Lead Analyst Logan Mohtashami will talking about housing and economics every Monday.

CoronavirusReal Estate

Potential homebuyers are going to face historically low inventory this summer

Should homebuyers expect a bidding war?

With a decreased number of new home listings, what will happen when homebuyers re-enter the market this summer?

LendingTree says that 53% of homebuyers are more likely to buy a home in the next year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, with respondents saying they’re either tired of the small space they live in currently or don’t care where they live since they work remotely now.

Many even say they are ready to attend an open house again, according to a new survey from the National Association of Realtors, which found that 65% of people who attended an open house within the last year would do so now without hesitation.

Obviously, consumers are signaling a growing appetite for home-buying.

But as Chris Stuart, CEO and president of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices and CEO of HSF Affiliates, said in this interview with Mansion Global, the lack of housing inventory is “the biggest pain spot at the moment as a result of the pandemic.”

Stuart said that in contrast to 2008 and 2009, when there was 10 months of inventory, the nation has only about three months right now. As a result, he is seeing several real estate markets heat up.

“We have a company in the Florida Keys where we’ve sold four properties sight unseen, and we’re seeing that elsewhere in the U.S., too. We’re seeing double-digit appreciation on the Gulf side of Florida, in the Keys and parts of the Carolinas,” Stuart said.

A lack of available homes was a serious problem even before the pandemic, as our reporting from February shows:

The nation’s inventory of homes for sale tumbled 14% in January, falling to the lowest level since at least 2012, according to a realtor.com report. The inventory of entry-level homes saw the steepest drop in the series that goes back to 2012, the report said. The supply of properties priced under $200,000 fell 19%, while homes priced $200,000 to $750,000 declined 12%.

Now, with more homebuyers coming into the market and fewer houses to choose from, competition is already fierce in many markets, including San Diego, Austin and Milwaukee, where buyers may encounter bidding wars to secure the home of their dreams.

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