Mortgages Blog

Finance Blogs » Mortgages Blog » Not enough homes for sale?

Not enough homes for sale?

By Polyana da Costa ·
Thursday, July 26, 2012
Posted: 4 pm ET

Fewer buyers signed contracts to buy homes in June. Will that dampen the optimism of those celebrating the housing rebound? Not yet.

The National Association of Realtors' pending home sales index slipped 1.4 percent to 99.3 in June. But it wasn't because of a lack of buyers, says NAR's chief economist, Lawrence Yun. It was because there weren't enough homes for sale on the market. I know this notion probably feels like a slap in the face to home sellers across the country, especially those who have been trying to sell their homes for months.

But when buyers have fewer options, there are fewer deals, NAR says.

"Buyer interest remains strong but fewer home listings mean fewer contract signing opportunities," Yun says. "We’ve been seeing a steady decline in the level of housing inventory, which is most pronounced in the lower price ranges popular with first-time buyers and investors."

Even though pending sales slowed in June, the situation is much better than last year. June marks 14 consecutive months of year-over-year gains for the monthly index.

And since real estate is local, here is how each region fared:

June pending home sales index:

Northeast: fell 7.6 percent
South: fell 2 percent
Midwest: fell 0.4 percent
West: rose 2 percent

Follow me on Twitter @Polyanad

Bankrate wants to hear from you and encourages comments. We ask that you stay on topic, respect other people's opinions, and avoid profanity, offensive statements, and illegal content. Please keep in mind that we reserve the right to (but are not obligated to) edit or delete your comments. Please avoid posting private or confidential information, and also keep in mind that anything you post may be disclosed, published, transmitted or reused.

By submitting a post, you agree to be bound by Bankrate's terms of use. Please refer to Bankrate's privacy policy for more information regarding Bankrate's privacy practices.
July 31, 2012 at 6:37 pm

Sooo, we had been trying to sell our house for a relocation for the past 40 months. Not a short sale or pending foreclosure, either. Finally closed on the house last month. We lost alot of money on the deal, but did not go underwater on it. Now for the flip side. Short sales abound in the area we were reloacating to (75 miles north).Make an offer on a short sale, and you won't hear a thing back from the bank unless someone places a higher offer. Normally a short sale is listed with a real estate broker. Many people give up on trying to buy the short sale homes because of this tactic (we did). Eventually, the home goes into foreclosure,and is auctioned off to investment entities. There are plenty of homes for sale, and quite a few foreclosures. People are just not buying homes. If you count the investors buying forecosed homes, then yes, sales are up, but the real estate brokers are getting nothing from that.

British never left
July 31, 2012 at 5:54 pm

The first depression teaches us that banks will rent, lease or tear down the houses rather than seeing we the people get a deal of a lifetime. Now we see investors being allowed to buy in bulk at wholesale prices with the perk of no taxes for up to 10 years if they RENT these deals out to we the people. Now today the banks are processing notice of sales at a rate that is equal to the first wave of foreclosures which adds to the stockpile of empty vacant houses...We The People need to realize the banks are the British without the red coats...hope this adds fuel to the fire of potential revolution....

July 31, 2012 at 3:43 pm

i think all u people are wrong if people dont want to sell there house they dont have so dont nag them too

July 31, 2012 at 2:39 pm

"realistic" is not accurate -- while many homes may yet need to be foreclosed/sold by banks -- it is very regional and has little or no impact on supply or prices in markets that are not deeply troubled.. and many, many markets are quite tight now with declining supply... Try buying in those markets

July 31, 2012 at 2:25 pm

This is exactly the ploy that the banks and realtors are trying to make you believe. The truth of the matter is the banks withholding inventory from the market in order to drive up housing costs. The media then turns it into a RECOVERY!! BULL!!!

July 31, 2012 at 1:03 pm

We live near a military installation and we get a lot of transplants from nearby states who flock here for the low taxes. Housing prices in this area are way above tne national norm. Homeowners are placing properties on the market at prices that are above new construction prices and they are selling. These homes are not special either and most need updating since they are 10+ yrs old. Good for sellers and for folks who come from NY, NJ, PA etc who see these prices combined with the low tax rates and jump at the opportunity. But not good for locals who will never have the kind of income those folks had and are effectively priced out of the market.

July 31, 2012 at 12:42 pm

Don't believe these people. It will take years to recover from this financial mess. Jobs are scarce and lay offs
continue. People are saving what little money they have.

July 31, 2012 at 12:35 pm

I am a baby boomer, my wife and I purchased our current home in 1988. We offered $3K over asking price toi get in. Our orig mort. rate was 7%, we re-fi'd 5 times over the years, with the last re-fi @ the 15 year mark. Our reason was better rate ONLY! The last re-fi was a 15 yr fixed.
Having never taken cash out, this house NEVER went under water. In addition to the banks and gov't setting up the situation, a lot of people, usine their homes as an ATM, added to the forclosure fiasco.
Every time we re-fi'd, we were offered the ability to take "EXTRA" cash out 'For that motor home/boat/new car/cruise vacation/etc...' because we had enough equity.
As far as houses for sale, the house 2 away from us was forclosed 3 years ago, the old owners moved out, and the house set vacant for over 2 years b4 the bank did anything. In addition, a family member is barely keeping up w/ their payments, have pleaded with the bank to adjust their mortgage rate, etc... The bank has turned a blind eye.
So when are the banks going to respond to our Pres. advertisements about re-fi for struggling home owners?
Enough said!

July 31, 2012 at 12:15 pm

This is not a mystery.....if a seller can't get the price he wants and has no real motivation to move then he/she simply stays put and hopes to 'wait out' the storm of falling prices and sell in the future when the storm ends and the 'sunshine' of rising prices motivates the seller to put his house up for sale.

July 31, 2012 at 11:31 am

All the pundits can say whatever they want, no one really knows the magnitude of this housing problem and certainly do not know how to correct it. If there is someone who knows they are keeping there secret very well. All these "news" stories simply give a person something to do to justify their job.