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Homebuyer Demand Is Rising, but Sellers Are Slow to Respond

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Homebuyer Demand Is Rising, but Sellers Are Slow to Respond

Homebuyers are making a market comeback after months of stagnant activity, but elevated interest rates are keeping sellers glued to the sidelines

March 22, 2023
Person holding house keys above contract paperwork
Image: burdun / stock.adobe.com

Homebuyers are persevering despite volatile mortgage rates and a meager selection of for-sale homes, but despite an increase in activity, sellers aren’t responding. New listings in February were nearly a third lower than before the pandemic and 22% lower than last year, likely because sellers who locked in ultra-low mortgage rates before the pandemic aren’t willing to refinance in a more inflated market. 

Luckily, for those still opting to list, a resurgence of homebuyer demand in a market with few other sellers translates to a swifter sales process. Homes went under contract after a median span of 17 days in February, and while that’s more time than in 2022 and 2021, it’s significantly less than before the pandemic, Forbes reports.

“This market is not as frenzied as it was during the last two years, but home buyers might start to feel some déjà vu at the dearth of options,” said Jeff Tucker, Zillow senior economist. “Home sellers seem to be sitting out the early spring selling season in surprising numbers.”

Extremely low inventory means that when attractive, well-priced houses do come on the market, they are readily finding buyers.

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