Amid a significant shortage of housing supply in 2022, 32% of Realtors named a lack of inventory as the most important factor limiting potential clients from making a purchase, according to the National Association of Realtors’ 2023 Member Profile.
“The report’s findings clearly show that the lack of housing inventory is impacting Realtors’ ability to find buyers a home,” said Jessica Lautz, NAR deputy chief economist and vice president of research. “Housing inventory and affordability continue to be the top obstacles that hold back potential clients in the housing market.”
Despite the depleted housing supply, housing demand and home prices remained strong. The typical member’s sales volume increased to $3.4 million in 2022, up from $2.6 million in 2021 and had 12 transactions in 2022, the same as in 2021.
According to Altos Research, national housing inventory bottomed out in March 2022 at 240,194 single-family listings. It recovered somewhat, rising to 571,515 in November of 2022, but was a far cry from the pre-pandemic totals.
In 2015, active listings in early July were about 1.98 million. They’ve been falling in the years since but were still close to the one million range before the pandemic hit.
With mortgage rates almost uniformly in the high 6%, low 7% range this year and still-paltry inventory numbers, Realtors will likely report similar inventory-related struggles for 2023.
“The housing inventory growth is so slow this year that the active listings data today in July isn’t even higher than our January levels, which is typically when we see the seasonal bottom for the year’s first half,” Logan Mohtashami, HW’s Lead Analyst, wrote in his latest Housing Market Tracker column.