The Real Deal Miami

Low levels of inventory do little to aid housing market

November 04, 2011 01:55PM

According to Realtor.com, there were only 2.19 million homes on the
market at the end of Sept. 2011, the lowest count since the real estate
website began tracking inventory in 2007. Usually the under-saturation
of a market prompts its recovery, as less competition allows sellers to
raise prices, but this has not been the case of late — one explanation
is that while the number of listings fell, so, too did the quality of
those homes. Today’s buyers face a shortage of appealing inventory
because sellers are holding out for home values to appreciate and banks
are processing foreclosures at slower rates after the robo-signing
scandal. “On
paper, all of the conditions are great for buying, but the reality
doesn’t seem to match that,” said Ross Kutash, a Los Angeles attorney.
“I wouldn’t describe it as a buyer’s market so much as no market at
all.” South Florida has seen home listings drop 33 percent in Tampa, 46
percent in Orlando and 49 percent in Miami. [WSJ]