While the Wall Street Journal feels that the lowest mortgage rates since summer are
luring some home shoppers back to the market, they note that the problem is too
many homeowners, who have much lower rates, appear ready to sell. Home sales
are on track to be the lowest since at least 2011. But as mortgage rates are
retreating to below 7%, buyers are responding.
Although there is a lot of pent-up demand, homeowners who are locked in low mortgage
rates are unwilling to sell their homes right now. The situations that are currently
generating houses for sale are estate sales, homes owned by sellers who are
moving to other states, empty-nesters who are downsizing or families that are
moving into multi-generational homes to share costs. As mortgage rates continue to
slowly decline in 2024, inventory might creep higher.
Unfortunately, move-up sellers, who are holding on to start-up homes that would
appeal to first-time home buyers seem to be among the last to list, so that inventory
is increasing more slowly and you can expect bidding wars for properties that come
on the market in this category.