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Lack of Inventory Driving Busy Fall Real Estate Season

In most years, the first days of fall bring an annual slowdown in the real estate market, as the summer frenzy fizzles out and families begin another school year. But 2020 has other plans. According to®’s September Monthly Housing Trends report, this year fall is bringing intense competition among buyers who are paying $20,000, or a 25 percent increase, over their competition at the beginning of this year.

With a critically low inventory, homes are flying off the market at record speeds across the country. In fact, September saw properties selling a full 12 days faster than what should be expected based on previous years’ data. The report also indicates that inventory in September decreased 13.8 percent from this time last year. With 21 percent fewer listings now compared to the beginning of the year and 25 percent more buyers, homes are moving faster and at higher prices. This is great news for those thinking of selling their homes, but for buyers who were waiting for a slower fall real estate season, they are facing some of the fiercest competition yet this year.

“Many buyers tend to put their home search on hold after the start of the school year, but remote learning and the desire for more space continued to fuel buyer interest in September,” explained®’s chief economist, Danielle Hale. “Unseasonably high buyer interest, coupled with historically low inventory and favorable mortgage rates, are creating the perfect storm in the housing market. While this is good news for anyone looking to sell their home, it has created tremendous competition among buyers.”

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