Real estate inventory shortage is making buying a challenge in P - WFLA News Channel 8

Real estate inventory shortage is making buying a challenge in Polk

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LAKELAND, FL (WFLA) -

 

Maybe you've heard about a real estate inventory shortage. It's all the talk among industry insiders, and now real life home buyers in Polk County say the challenge is real. 
     
Exit Realty's Shawn McDonough doesn't sugar coat things for his customers.
     
"There's very few homes for sale, and the ones that are for sale that are priced correctly are moving in days," McDonough said. 
     
He offers a warning to first time home buyers in particular. 
     
"This is not going to be easy," he'll explain to prospective buyers. "Unfortunately I'm going to show you properties that by the time you decide you are ready to write up an offer on it it's already gone, or potentially once you do write an offer on it find out it went to somebody else," he said.
     
Christina Cannon and her boyfriend Charleton are feeling the inventory crunch. They've been in the market for their first house for about a month and have already been out-bid.
     
"We either ask asking or over and still it's just, it's nearly impossible it feels like, but we're trying," Cannon said. 

The problem is too few homes for sale. Just 582 active listings in Lakeland -- 690 if you count short sales according to McDonough.

Compare that to March of last year when there were 1,628  homes on the market. In March of 2011 there were 1,984 homes for sale. 

Stephen Simpson is one of the lucky ones who, after nine months of searching, finally landed a house to buy. But he says it was just perfect timing.

"There were properties around that property that were, on the day that the sign went up, they were gone, so it was that quick," he said. 
 
Industry insiders say the upside to lower inventory is higher prices which in the long run will entice other homeowners to sell, and that will ultimately improve inventory. 

 

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