Supply of Existing Homes Down

Nationwide, the supply of existing homes for sale has fallen for seven straight months, hitting an almost eight-year low in January, the National Association of Realtors reports.

Competing offers for the same homes are rising in more markets, especially in the West.

If you are holding onto your home because of needed repairs, now is the time to get it done. For instance, if mold is a problem in your home, get rid of the source of excess water or moisture. Then clean up the mold or hire a mold removal company.

Much of the country is now a seller’s market, Realtors say, just one year into a potential housing recovery following the worst downturn since the Great Depression.

The shortage of sellers, a force behind higher prices, is expected to ease as prices rise, economists say.

But a return to healthy inventory levels could take years. Many homeowners can’t afford to sell because they don’t have enough equity to put into buying another house. The supply of distressed houses for sale is thinning as the foreclosure crisis recedes, especially in some states.

Home building, while improving, is still at low levels. And after years of holding on, few homeowners want to sell when prices are just coming off the bottom.