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Inventory Shortage Cramps Demand for Homes

Demand for housing took a hit in February as a shortage in supply of homes resulted in a lesser number of buyers making an offer according to the Redfin Housing Demand Index, a monthly dataset on housing demand that is released by Redfin [1]. The index is based on Redfin customers requesting home tours and writing offers.

According to Redfin, the index fell 14.1 percent to 110 points in February, representing the lowest level of homebuyer demand in 11 months and the largest month-over-month decline recorded on the index since it was started in January 2013.

On a monthly basis, the seasonally adjusted number of buyers requesting home tours fell by 12.4 percent while the number of buyers making an offer fell 18 percent in February, the data indicated.

The demand for homes slipped on an annual basis too, with the demand index declining 6.5 percent from February 2017. Though the number of buyers requesting home tours increased 2.9 percent from the same period last year, the number of buyers actually making an offer fell 20.1 percent.

“There are still plenty of people touring homes; there just aren’t enough of homes to satisfy all the buyers who want to make offers,” said Pete Ziemkiewicz, Head of Analytics at Redfin. “We’ve started off each of the past three years with inventory down double-digits from the year before, which has held back buyer activity until enough new listings hit the market to get the offers flowing in the Spring.”

In fact, according to Redfin, February marked 33 consecutive months of declining home supply across the 15 metros covered by the Demand index. The data indicated that there were 13.6 percent fewer homes for sale than the year earlier in these areas.