The supply of listings in April fell 9 percent compared with a year ago, and, in turn, the number of days it took to sell the average home dropped to just 29, the lowest since the National Association of Realtors began tracking that in 2011. There was a big increase in the number of listings that came on the market this spring, but they were swept up so quickly that supplies were still lower.
“One thing we added this month to our Realtors confidence index is analyzing data on realtors’ comments,” said Danielle Hale, managing director of housing research at NAR. “The two biggest phrases in the comments this month were ‘low inventory’ and ‘multiple offers’.
And in fact the advantage of buying versus renting is narrowing across the board. Rents are easing, as more and more new apartment units are completed, and home prices are rising. That makes the math more difficult.
“In some places, for some households, the decision to rent or buy a home may be too close to call,” according to the Trulia report.
If it’s a close call, then other factors like flexibility and low risk tend to tip the balance toward renting. If rents continue to ease further, and homebuilders don’t ramp up production, home prices will continue to burn, and the decision not to buy will get easier.
Watch: Real estate mogul on why you should buy, not rent
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