Published by REALTOR.COM | February 28, 2023
The nation is still suffering from a severe housing shortage. But compared with one year ago, there are about 250,000 more homes for sale.
Where are all the homes, anyway? Ever since the COVID-19 pandemic ignited a nationwide housing boom, wannabe buyers have been plagued by bone-dry home inventory levels in many markets—causing them to either wait on the sidelines for more choices or slug it out in frantic bidding wars for the scraps of the market.
Now, as we head into the crucial spring real estate season, buyers are still finding no shortage of challenges: Home prices are historically high, mortgage interest rates are rising, and folks are once again swamping open houses, spilling out onto sidewalks.
But there is a silver lining: In many markets, there are a lot more homes to choose from. And the data team at Realtor.com® found the metropolitan areas where the overall home listings are up the most.
Let’s be clear: The nation is still suffering from a severe housing shortage. But compared with one year ago, there are about 250,000 more homes for sale. Housing inventory has been on the upswing since the middle of 2022, with the number of active listings on Realtor.com hitting 626,000 in January 2023.
It’s not that all of a sudden more people are listing their homes for sale. In fact, fewer new listings—the lifeblood of the housing market—went on the market in January of this year compared with January 2022. The difference is that homes are now taking longer to sell. There are simply fewer buyers who can afford to purchase real estate with mortgage rates approaching 7% for 30-year fixed-rate loans.
So, the properties that aren’t snapped up immediately—the desperate fixer-uppers, the overpriced digs, the oddly configured places woefully lacking curb appeal, the homes in less desirable areas—are piling up on the market as the number of home sales has dropped. The result is more options for potential buyers and more time to consider their purchase or even negotiate with sellers.
Unfortunately for buyers, the rise in homes for sale hasn’t resulted in prices falling, at least in the majority of these places. In fact, prices are still rising in many of these areas.