Shortage of homes for sale creates fierce competition
With housing inventory at a low, would-be buyers are scrambling to bid on homes before they're even listed, and real estate agents are vying to represent the few sellers that do exist.By Alejandro Lazo, Los Angeles Times June 10, 2012
The newest problem for the slowly improving housing market isn't a shortage of serious buyers, it's a shortage of good homes.Would-be buyers are packing open houses and scrambling to make offers on properties before they are even listed. Bidding wars are erupting. And real estate agents are vying fiercely to represent the few sellers that do exist. Housing inventory has sunk to levels not seen since the bubble years. The number of American homes with a "for sale" sign hit 2.5 million in April, the lowest number for an April since 2006, according to the National Assn. of Realtors. David Dennick, who lives in Echo Park and works as a television editor, has been searching for a home with his wife, Denise, for about two months. The couple have already bid on three properties. They are hoping to find a home for less than $525,000, which is $25,000 more than they originally had hoped to spend. "It is much more competitive than we thought," said Dennick, standing in the entrance of an Eagle Rock open house on a recent Sunday. "It is just frustrating because we thought we would really be able to buy a house; we are a middle-class family."