First-time home-buyers are finally ready to jump into the market. They’ve met tougher mortgage qualifying standards in recent years, they’ve saved up for down payments, they’ve done their homework and know what they can afford.
But can they actually find a home?
The biggest problem facing first-time home-buyers these days is the low inventory of homes for sale in the starter home price range.
“That’s a real problem,” says Nela Richardson, chief economist for Redfin, a national real estate brokerage. “Just because you got financing doesn’t mean you get a home. It’s a hard market.”
According to the National Association of Realtors, the number of homes for sale nationwide at the end of November 2016 was 9.3 percent lower than it was a year earlier, and the year-over-year totals have been dropping for the last 18 months. At the current rate of home sales, the inventory is only enough to last four months – short of the six-month inventory for a balanced market of home-buyers and available homes.