HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – If you’ve been in the market to buy or sell a house lately, you may notice things move a lot faster than they used to, especially in a growing city like Huntsville.
Realtors are calling it the “perfect storm,” referring to a number of factors contributing to a housing shortage in the area.
“I sold real estate actually in 2 different states prior to moving to Huntsville. I’ve never seen anything like this so it’s quite unique,” Amanda Howard Sotheby’s International Realty CEO and Broker Amanda Howard said.
Howard has been in the business for more than 15 years. She says a small metro mass, combined with an influx of people moving to the area started the shift, only to be exacerbated by the pandemic, even slowing the production of new homes.
“Then with our builders, they are constantly looking for labor and we have a shortage of labor, we also have a shortage of supplies,” she said.
She explains what used to be a buyer’s market is now a seller’s market, meaning demand for homes far outweighs supply. Before now, realtors would have about a 6-month supply of houses to sell.
“Now we’re at a point where we’re only seeing 2 weeks of inventory, so that’s what’s creating the challenge and where people are saying, ‘what in the world is happening to our market right now?'” she said.
All of this has caused the entire home-buying to become more competitive and more expensive.
“You’re showing them homes as quickly as you can, writing offers and losing it. Writing another offer and losing it and again, it’s about on average about 6 offers an agent is writing for 1 family to win a property,” Howard said.
She doesn’t see it ending anytime soon.
“We see a good positive trend but it’s still going to take time to catch up because we are bringing tens of thousands of people each year to our marketplace,” she said.
Howard says she has told her realtors to prepare for potentially 5 years of this before the market gets balanced again.