Why Is It So Hard To Find A House In Today's Market? (And what you can do!)
We keep hearing about the low inventory not just here in Daytona Beach but all across the county, but did you know the number of closed sales in Volusia County is actually up by 12.5% over last year? The truth is, we are in the ultimate sellers’ market- the number of buyers shopping for a home far outweighs the number of homes available to purchase. The houses are out there, but the competition is fierce. So let’s take a look at why there are so many buyers in the market, and what you can do to overcome the challenge.
So what’s one of the biggest contributing factors? The Coronavirus. When the pandemic hit, it fueled a renewed appreciation of the meaning of “home.” It became more important to have a safe space for working, schooling, exercise, puzzling, bread-baking, and all of the other things we started doing at home during lockdowns. As mortgage rates dropped, more and more buyers entered the market to find a home that would fulfill their changing needs. And then of course we had mortgage rates that dropped below 3%, so folks that were already on the fence about whether or not to buy jumped on the opportunity. But at the same time, sellers hesitated to put their houses on the market as concerns about the pandemic grew. The result? You guessed it: the number of available homes dropped and the imbalance between supply and demand mounted.
So what Does All of This Mean for You as a buyer? There are only about 740 homes for sale in the Daytona Beach MLS right now, when there are usually around 3,000 homes. But again, the number of homes sold has increased, so that means there are homes coming onto the market, but they are buyers who are snatching them up right away, especially in that median price point of just under $300,000. So it’s important that you are ready to jump on a property as soon as it becomes available.
First, make sure your finances are in order. You’ve already met with a lender and have your pre-approval (or proof of funds) in hand before you even start looking. Next, be ready to see the property as soon as it hits the market. This is not the market to be sitting around and waiting until next weekend before taking a look at a home you’re interested in, you should see it today because it’s very likely there is a drove of other buyers who are already scheduled to see it. If you’re not available, have a trusted friend or family member go see it for you, or better yet, have your agent do a virtual tour of the property for you.
Next, you should be shopping under your budget. It’s estimated that over 40% of homes are being sold over the asking price. This isn’t the market to becoming in $10,000 under the asking price and you want the ability to be competitive with your offer. If you’ve fallen in love with a home at $300,000 but your max budget is $300 you don’t have much room to compete with other offers when the sellers call for the highest and best. And finally, it’s also important to have an agent working for you that understands today’s market conditions and how to help you navigate them. There are a number of things a good agent can do to help your offer stand out against other offers, and they should discuss with you the strategies that will work best for you and your specific situation.
And finally, remember your goals and why finding a home is so important. Those things should be the driving force behind your search.