Sellers marketWe’ve been following the sharp rise of home values and shortage of housing inventory for a while now. A few new reports suggest those factors have combined to create a hotter and more competitive sellers’ market than we’ve seen in years. But I can think of at least one way for a buyer to get an advantage.

First, though: What are buyers dealing with? Take this Homes.com Rebound Report for starters, which says that home prices in 14 major markets have eclipsed their highest points from the housing boom six years ago:

The 14 markets that have made more than a 100 percent rebound [in April] are an increase from nine that topped their peak values in March. With the exception of Denver and Pittsburgh, the markets that have exceeded their peak values are in the South, Southwest or Midwest. All of the markets that have doubled their peak values are in Texas. Most of them experienced price increases during the boom lower than the national median.

San Antonio led the way in this study with a reported 233.11% rise over its previous boomtime peak. Closer to home, California markets including L.A., San Francisco and San Diego experienced more modest gains. Meanwhile, a new Redfin agents’ survey found that 86% of those polled agree that now is the time to sell. While that might sound obvious, their conclusion is not without complications:

For buyers, the survey showed 93 percent of agents listing low inventory and the same percentage listing multiple offers as the biggest challenge for them. Martin said the continuing investor presence in the market could be driving that, with her having a much harder time getting buyers into contracts for homes priced below the $500,000 or even $550,000 mark. And paradoxically, the interest in buying scares off some sellers from putting their houses on the market, she said, because they’re concerned about whether they could then buy something else.

Ah, yes: Investors. As we’ve seen, investors have definitely influenced the direction of prices and overall inventory, as has the tight inventory on the REO side. We’ve also established that more REO properties will make their ways to the market in the not-too-distant future.

With this in mind, if you’re a prospective owner-occupant (or an agent representing owner-occupants), you’d do very well to consider HUD Homes. Not only are there money-saving benefits and other bottom-line advantages to HUD Homes, but the sale process favors owner-occupants in ways that the conventional housing market does not.

To learn more about the benefits of HUD Homes, consult my post here and find my HUD Homes listings here. You can also check out BLB Resources’ HUD Photos List and HUDHomestore.com for other HUD listings nationwide. And get in touch with me any time with all your HUD Homes questions!

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