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Where is all the Inventory | Milwaukee Real Estate

Where is All the Housing Inventory?

The housing market of 2022 is shaping up to be the most buyer competitive environment we have ever recorded in housing history.

Are you a frustrated buyer?  There are a lot of you out there right now as we are seeing the lowest housing inventory ever recorded in history, fueling housing inflation and restrictions like we have never experienced before. It is not just a Wisconsin problem; it is a nation-wide epidemic. According to Business Insider “The hottest pandemic purchase is a house, as more and more Americans take advantage of low mortgage rates to attain spacious backyards and more comfortable work-from-home locales.”

So why now?

  1. Buyers are scrambling to lock in low rates before rates rise in March. You can borrow it cheaper than remodeling or building. Monthly mortgages are often much cheaper than rent, which has skyrocketed due to building costs and supply chain issues.


  1. Work from Home Movement. Looks like this might be here to stay as more people work from home and companies find this movement cuts overhead on office supplies, rent, and business travel. Homeowners have a real need now to find a better work from home experience which is pushing people to buy larger homes.


  1. Social Distancing. People do not want to be in apartment living more than ever since the pandemic began. The suburbs are once again popular which explains Mequon’s jump of 216% increase in closed sold business November 2020 and 2021 over November 2019.


  1. Building Costs have skyrocketed. You can plan on about $400 a square foot to build or more. Existing housing here in the North Shore is running about $250 to $350 a square foot depending on community and location making it cheaper to buy it than to build it or even rent it in some cases.


  1. Move in ready moves fast. Expect multiple offers on new kitchens and baths. It is so much cheaper to buy it done. Remodeling like building, has skyrocketed with the cost of building materials going up and up. No one wants contractors in their home with Covid and there are delays in remodeling like never before.


The supply chain still has real issues. Lumber is expensive and hard to get. Our buyers and sellers who want to stay here but want to upgrade their experience have limited choices at all price points. If you are a seller that is great if you have a place to go. If you are a seller and you are looking for a home in another location, you will have challenges ahead as this is a nationwide problem.  We have sellers wanting to sell but no available housing for them to buy once we sell their home, which is creating a bottle neck in the industry as a whole.

As of this writing, this week alone we wrote on a coming soon home sight unseen for cash no contingencies.  The buyer purchased the home and has not stepped one foot inside yet. This is the third time this year I have wrote an offer like this. The buyer will get to see it first on the 28th but has no out on their offer. This is getting more typical. Our experience last night was even more interesting, we had a buyer write a cash offer $25,000 over asking with a 2 hour turn around time, and the seller countered in multiple counter offers because there were 5 other offers just as compelling. Virtual buying is becoming more commonplace. We are Face Timing buyers more often and drafting offers based on virtual showings.

This is where there is no substitute for experience, Buyers working with unexperienced agents without good training, broker access and street experience will most likely not be able to win.  We are writing the most creative offers of my career, and this is a new experience even for this 20 year veteran. We have never had inventory this low. There is a real risk of running out of houses with 0 months of inventory in the marketplace.

Need Help? Powers Realty Group has dedicated and experienced buyer’s agents ready to help you win in this ultra competitive housing market. Call our offices today for your home search.

Powers Realty Group is a distinctive boutique real estate broker focused on the needs of customers delivering exceptional results. We are the trusted local experts. Call us today about buying or selling your home.

Call Suzanne Powers