As the real estate industry continues along the road to recovery, agents and brokers alike are being challenged on a daily basis, thanks in large part to a growing inventory shortage. “The Inventory Conundrum: The Current Outlook and Strategies for Coping with Shortage” session—which took place during RISMedia’s 2013 Real Estate CEO Exchange, held at New York City’s prestigious Yale Club this past September—examined this unexpected roadblock, providing an in-depth look at what some of the industry’s leading brokers are doing to increase business despite the inventory shortfall.
John Tuccillo, Chief Economist, Florida REALTORS® began the session by explaining that the data is the real problem. “The MLS only touches on things that go through the real estate industry, however, there are a lot of transactions that take place outside of the industry, so we’re only getting part of the story.” While Tuccillo alluded to the fact that the data isn’t making it clear whether we have inventory or not, he went on to say that there are market forces at work that are providing self-direction. Those key forces include prices going up, sellers getting off the fence and into the market, as well as homeowners who now have the flexibility to deal with their properties as they are no longer underwater.
Tuccillo also noted that there’s a lessening demand for investor and owner/occupants because of the difficulty surrounding getting a mortgage today, and investors, who have been instrumental in bringing back the markets in the hardest hit states, are beginning to lose their appetite for real estate. “While inventory has been stagnant over the last three months, the market is moving in the direction of higher inventory,” bringing with it a sense of optimism that the recovery is continuing in the right direction.