Why do we have low inventory?

Posted by Dan Miller, REALTOR on Tuesday, August 15th, 2017 at 7:16am.

Low Housing Supply in Madison WIRealtor.com says Baby Boomers are a major cause of the housing shortage in the US. According to these recently released survey results, Boomers are generally satisfied with their current home and reluctant to move onto a new setting. This generational trend, according to the survey, is keeping listing inventory low and freezing would-be buyers out of the market. Among the survey findings:

  • 72% of Boomers say their home meets their current needs.
  • 85% of Boomers don't plan to sell in the next year.
  • Up to 33 million properties are being withheld from the market due to this generational trend. 

There's much more to the story than this. 

The survey makes it clear Baby Boomers are generally content to stay put in their current home, but it doesn't really address the reasons why. The reasons why Boomers aren't moving? Here are 2 big ones:

  1. They're having a hard time finding another property that suits them better. 
  2. When they do find a suitable property, they're often shocked by how much it costs

So, Baby Boomers aren't the reason for low inventory. Just the opposite, they're being affected by low inventory just like everyone else. They're not moving because there simply isn't enough inventory to go around.  

The real reasons for low inventory in Dane County

Here are the 6 main reasons for low home and condo supply in Dane County. 

  1. Dane County's population is growing quickly. According to this recent article, we live in the fastest-growing county in the state. Dane County alone, accounted for 77% of the state's population growth last year. 
  2. Investors, seeking to take advantage of market dynamics, are very active in Dane County. In many cases they're in direct competition with other buyers who are looking for a place to call home. 
  3. Foreclosures, once a big source of inventory, are at a 16 year low. 
  4. New home construction is well below where it needs to be in order to satisfy the demand for single family housing. 
  5. New condo construction is almost at a standstill. 
  6. Our elected officials are encouraging the development of new apartments throughout the region, but very little attention is being paid to the need for more single family homes and condos. 

A quick note for our elected officials

Apartment vacancy rates are creeping higher. I'ts time for our local leaders to shift some of their focus away from apartment projects and start laying the groundwork for developments that include homes and condos. Right now there's a huge pent up demand for quality condominium housing in Dane County. Give Baby Boomers more down-sizing options to choose from, and they'll start moving. This will free up more single family home supply and help keep real estate prices under control.  

This article is published courtesy of:
Dan Miller, REALTOR
Mad City Dream Homes & RE/MAX Preferred
610 Junction Road #205, Madison, WI, 53717

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