Eager buyers shopping for homes in today's modestly recovered housing markets might be disappointed to discover not many homes are available for sale. This shortage of inventory means home buyers in some areas have but few -- if any -- for-sale homes to choose from.
Consider the Waltham, Mass., area, about nine miles west of Boston.
Gary Rogers, broker/owner of RE/MAX on the Charles in Waltham, says inventory there is "extremely and unusually low" even for mid-winter. Inventory is so low, in fact, that one nearby town recently had zero single-family homes for sale.
"That boggles my mind," Rogers says. "It may have changed as of this morning, but a couple of days ago, there literally was zero single-family homes."
The perception of limited inventory is supported by data, though it's crucial to remember that national numbers don't necessarily match local-market conditions.