The Housing Roadblock That Could Kill the Recovery
The recently-tightened mortgage lending standards have been widely cited for preventing a faster turnaround in the housing market. But the bigger culprit may be the slowdown in construction loans for builders.
Real estate industry experts and home builders have been warning for nearly a year that the lack of new home construction could slow the housing recovery. That moment may be here. The supply of existing homes for sale in December fell to its lowest level in more than 7 years: 4.4 months’ worth of homes are for sale at the current pace, according to data from the National Association of Realtors. That constricted supply, in turn, has driven up prices. December’s average prices nationwide were 11.5 percent higher than a year earlier, according to the NAR.