New data confirm what brokers and home buyers have long felt: The pandemic surge in homebuying decimated inventories most drastically in vacation markets and exurbs.
In an analysis of more than 1,000 ZIP codes with a median list price of $750,000, the Wall Street Journal and Realtor.com identified where the supply crisis hit hardest. The study compared inventories from 2017 through 2019 with those from March 2020 to February 2021.
Cape Cod and the Jersey Shore suffered among the sharpest inventory declines. Buyers flocked to the beach towns while homeowners there largely stayed put.
Yet some luxury markets saw a boom in listings, many of them urban areas with larger condo and co-op offerings. Inventories swelled in neighborhoods in New York City, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Silicon Valley, Seattle and Boston.
In markets suffering a supply drought, some would-be buyers sent personal letters in attempts to sway a seller’s heart.
Areas with excess inventories have pushed sellers to get creative. A Los Angeles agent, tasked with selling a house that had weathered multiple price cuts after months on the market, brought in TikTok and Instagram influencers to film at the home. The house received multiple offers and is currently in escrow for about $5 million, just under its asking price. The buyer saw the listing on social media, the Journal reported.
[The Wall Street Journal] — Suzannah Cavanaugh