As more high-end homes hit the market, buyers are gaining additional bargaining power, reports Anya Martin of The Wall Street Journal.
In March, the inventory of homes priced from $500,000 to $750,000 rose 15.9% in the U.S. compared with the same period last year, according to the National Association of Realtors. For homes over $1 million, the inventory rose 12.6% year-over-year.
Inventories dropped in April, likely due to the seasonal pattern of spring sales and perhaps some buyers taking advantage of deals, but real-estate agents say they are still seeing more expensive homes sit longer than midrange and lower priced homes.
The volatility in the stock market lately has made wealthy buyers more cautious. Plus, there are fewer foreign buyers than last year due to the dollar strengthening and other economic issues overseas, says Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist.
What also could be happening is simply a “normalizing” of the home market, says Brad Blackwell, executive vice president and portfolio business manager for Wells Fargo Home Mortgage. That’s good for jumbo borrowers, who now have a wider choice of homes and won’t have to bend to sellers’ demands that waive financing and inspection contingencies to compete with cash buyers.