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Americans Are Staying in Their Homes Longer & May Contribute to the Inventory Shortages

Like most of the nation, Monterey County is experiencing an inventory shortage in residential housing. We currently have 3.3 months of inventory available for sale. Last year at this time we had 7.1 months. Although the buying frenzy has cooled slightly, we are still experiencing extreme inventory shortages.

Here is a breakdown comparing February 2021 to February 2020:

2021 2020

Pebble Beach 4.9 13.4

Carmel 4.3 9.3

Pacific Grove 2.2 4.5

Monterey 2.3 5.9

Marina .6 8.2

Seaside 1.8 2.6

Salinas 2.1 3.5

So what are some reasons for the shortage? One could be the lower interest rates that are helping first time home buyers buy and allowing other home buyers to "move up". Another reason could be that home owners are staying where they are. In a recent Redfin study, one in four homeowners have lived in their home for more than 20 years and aging in place has increased during the COVID-19 pandemic. As Americans stay in their homes longer, housing shortages are growing and home prices are rising. It's a great time to be a seller but when the seller becomes a buyer, lack of inventory & rising prices may impact their ability to find their next property.

It will be interesting to see how the market plays out in the next few months as interest rates start creeping upward and forbearance periods expire. We'll have to wait an see.

Source: Realtor Magazine January 25,2021 & MLS data


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