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HOUSING INVENTORY: LOWEST IN DECADES

 

 

 

 

 

 

Resale inventory is at the lowest level in more than 18 years and continues to decrease. New home construction hasn’t kept pace with demand, and the result is an inventory shortage at a time when demographic and economic indicators are moving upward for the .

One way to measure for-sale housing inventory is with “months’ supply,” which shows how many months it would take to sell the available inventory at the current sales pace, as if no other came on the market, which is unlikely but it is a good snapshot to measure health.

Month's Supply Lowest In More Than 18 Years

The housing market is seasonal, so when comparing the data over time we look at these numbers for the same month of each year. In March 2018, the months’ supply was approximately 3.8 months measured across the country, which means it would take only 3.8 months to sell all the existing houses listed at the March 2018 sales pace.  The March 2018 supply was about the same level as in March 2017, but well below where it was during the Great Recession, and tighter than it was before the housing boom. By this measure, inventory is the tightest it’s been in over 18 years.

Inventory Tight for Entry-Level Buyers

When we dig deeper into inventory at different price levels we see that inventory for entry-level homes is even tighter. Using the median price as the reference, we look at months’ supply for homes listed at different price points, for those homes listed at the entry-level (priced from 50 percent of median sale price up to 25 percent above) there was only a 3-month supply available for sale. There is more supply at higher price points – close to 7 months for homes listed for more than twice the median sale price.

Areas of the country with strong job growth have even lower supply. Denver, Seattle, and San Francisco have about 2 months of supply, making each of those cities a sellers’ market. Miami, with a supply made up mostly of condos, has the highest supply of the largest metros at 9 months.

Month's Supply in Large Metro Areas

The incredibly tight inventory on the low end has pushed prices up for that segment of the market. As measured by the CoreLogic Home Price Index, prices for lower-end homes increased by almost 10 percent year over year in March 2018, while prices for higher-priced homes increased by 6 percent. Increases for lower-end homes can price entry-level buyers out of the housing market, keeping a lid on overall home sales.

© 2018 CoreLogic, Inc. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

Resale inventory is at the lowest level in more than 18 years and continues to decrease. New home construction hasn’t kept pace with demand, and the result is an inventory shortage at a time when demographic and economic indicators are moving upward for the housing market.

One way to measure for-sale housing inventory is with “months’ supply,” which shows how many months it would take to sell the available inventory at the current sales pace, as if no other homes came on the market, which is unlikely but it is a good snapshot to measure health.

Month's Supply Lowest In More Than 18 Years

The housing market is seasonal, so when comparing the data over time we look at these numbers for the same month of each year. In March 2018, the months’ supply was approximately 3.8 months measured across the country, which means it would take only 3.8 months to sell all the existing houses listed for sale at the March 2018 sales pace.  The March 2018 supply was about the same level as in March 2017, but well below where it was during the Great Recession, and tighter than it was before the housing boom. By this measure, inventory is the tightest it’s been in over 18 years.

Inventory Tight for Entry-Level Buyers

When we dig deeper into inventory at different price levels we see that inventory for entry-level homes is even tighter. Using the median price as the reference, we look at months’ supply for homes listed at different price points, for those homes listed at the entry-level (priced from 50 percent of median sale price up to 25 percent above) there was only a 3-month supply available for sale. There is more supply at higher price points – close to 7 months for homes listed for more than twice the median sale price.

Areas of the country with strong job growth have even lower supply. Denver, Seattle, and San Francisco have about 2 months of supply, making each of those cities a sellers’ market. Miami, with a supply made up mostly of condos, has the highest supply of the largest metros at 9 months.

Month's Supply in Large Metro Areas

The incredibly tight inventory on the low end has pushed prices up for that segment of the market. As measured by the CoreLogic Home Price Index, prices for lower-end homes increased by almost 10 percent year over year in March 2018, while prices for higher-priced homes increased by 6 percent. Increases for lower-end homes can price entry-level buyers out of the housing market, keeping a lid on overall home sales.

© 2018 CoreLogic, Inc. All rights reserved.

A Record-breaking Month for the Housing Market

April was a quick selling month for the , according to Redfin. sold faster during the month than any other month Redfin has recorded since 2010, with homes staying on the market for just 36 days on average. This is six days faster than April of 2017. Homes were more expensive as well, with the national home sale price crossing the $300,000-mark for the first time in Redfin’s history. The median national home price was $302,000.

“Despite rising prices and low inventory, sales in 2018 so far are slightly higher than last year, which was the best year on record since the 2006 housing boom,” said Redfin Chief Economist Nela Richardson. “As we enter peak homebuying season, new listings will be key in maintaining sales growth and moderating the rapid price increases we’ve seen this year.”

In April the market gained a 5.7 percent month-over-month increase in newly listed homes , a welcome relief in a month that saw a 9.2 percent year-over-year decrease in available homes. Of all the homes for sale in April, 26.2 percent sold for above their list price, a year-over-year increase from April 2017’s 24.9 percent.

Redfin also notes that only 2.8 months of supply remained at the end of April, while six months of supply is the signal of a healthy market. Tough competition due to the limited supply has raised prices in every large metro; no metro area with a population of 750,000 or more saw any decline in prices in April.

 

 

According to Redfin, Michigan metros were the most competitive and fastest growing in the nation. Detroit experienced a 21.2 percent year-over-year price increase, the second highest in the nation behind San Jose, followed by Grand Rapids, where homes spent on average just nine days on the market.

“Detroit and Grand Rapids are no different than other cities dealing with low inventory. In addition, buyers are pouring in from the east coast, west coast, and Chicago, which is adding to the demand,” said Kent Selders, a Redfin Market Manager in Michigan.

See how inventory shortages and price increases are impacting other metros here.

Developer plans new 2,558-acre community near Lake Nona

A planned 2,558-acre, mixed-use community going up near wants to change some of its plans.

The Starwood project, being developed by Beachline South Residential LLC on land south of State Road 528 and east of State Road 417, will add a high school and new signage into the mix of commercial uses and thousands of .

Applicant Dewberry Engineers Inc., which is the civil engineer and landscape architect for the project, sent a submittal to the city of Orlando to amend the future land-use map and planned-use development map. The request will be discussed at a June 19 municipal planning board meeting.

“The changes are mostly the result of an agreement reached with Orange County School Board regarding placement of a high school site within the development,” the project description reads. The changes are also a result of the road realignment on Dowden Road.

Beachline South Residential LLC, an entity of Palm Beach Gardens-based Land Innovations LLC, wants to build:

  • Office space on 1,680 acres
  • Commercial space on 81 acres
  • Public recreation and institutional areas consisting of 65 acres
  • Industrial space on 33 acres
  • Roughly 670 acres will be set aside for conservation.

The development team also includes Donal W. McIntosh Associates Inc. as the surveyor, VHB as the traffic consultant, Bio-Tech Consulting Inc. as the environmental consultant and Devo Engineering Co. as the geotechnical engineer.

Proposed home sites will range from 20-foot townhome lots to 70-foot estate lots, Mattamy Homes said in a news release. Communities amenities will include centers of different sizes throughout the community as well as a more than 20-mile system of interconnected walking trails and bike paths.

“Orlando continues to demonstrate that it is one of the strongest markets in the state of , as evidenced by the positive demographic trends including employment and population growth,” Mattamy Homes Orlando Division President Alex Martin previously said in a prepared statement. “We consider the Starwood Property an excellent complement to our existing Randal Park community and an opportunity to maintain our strong presence in this highly desirable and rapidly growing area of Central Florida.”

Jay Thompson, Land Innovations managing partner, had said the home prices would start at about $230,000 and go up to $1 million.

Now Is the Best Time to Sell … or Is it?

 

 

Rising home prices and a squeeze on inventory has more millennial homebuyers and potential sellers looking at upgrading their home admitting to being obsessed with timing the market to increase their gains, according to a recent study by ValueInsured.

The study found that among all homeowners surveyed who were interested in selling their home 69 percent said that they were concerned with trying to time the market, an increase of 13 percentage points from 56 percent during the same period last year.

Among those wishing to buy a home this season, the study found that 60 percent said they were concerned with trying to time the market, again reflecting a 13 percentage points increase over last year.

The pressure to time the market was most acute among millennials with 65 percent potential millennial homebuyers admitting that they were more market-timing conscious, up from 45 percent last year. Among millennial homeowners too, ValueInsured’s study found 73 percent millennial homeowners who wished to upgrade but were waiting for better prices admitting that timing the market was key to a better deal.

The study revealed that an eroding preference for owning over renting was one of the many factors that coincided with rising concerns over timing the market due to home prices and rising rates. “Americans, homeowners and non-owners, far prefer owning to renting if given a choice. However, that preference is sliding steadily, even among homeowners,” the ValueInsured study said.

While 68 percent non-homeowners believed that owning a home was better than renting, the data revealed that this was still a 4-point drop from 72 percent expressing the same sentiment last year. The percentage dropped among homeowners too, with 87 percent homeowners believing that it was better to own than rent, compared with 90 percent during the same period last year.

The study found that non-homeowning millennials were more confident that the housing market was moving in a direction that was more favorable to renters than owners, with nearly three in four (72 percent) millennial homeowners surveyed now believing that the housing market favored renting over buying.

 

Limited Options Holding Homebuyers Back

Inventory is still holding sales back, according to the latest pending home sales data from the National Association of Realtors (NAR). The Pending Home Sales Index by NAR indicates that despite a 0.4 percent increase in pending home sales in March, numbers still aren’t as high as they were last year. With the increased activity in March, pending home sales are still down three percent year over year.

“Healthy economic conditions are creating considerable demand for purchasing a home, but not all buyers are able to sign contracts because of the lack of choices in inventory,” said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. “Steady price growth and the swift pace listings are coming off the market are proof that more supply is needed to fully satisfy demand. What continues to hold back sales is the fact that prospective buyers are increasingly having difficulty finding an affordable home to buy.”

Danielle Hale, Chief Economist at Realtor.com agreed: “The slight increase in March is still not enough to push the pending index above year-ago levels. It marks the third consecutive year-over-year decline suggesting that unless more come to the market , we’re unlikely to see a major breakout above the 5.5 million sales pace that has dominated since mid-2015.”

Yun also noted that winter storms during the “unseasonably cold” winter in the north contributed in part to the decline in contract signings. Additionally, Yun stated that increasing prices coupled with decreasing incomes would push some people out of the market, as mortgage rates hit a four-year high.

“Much of the country is enjoying a thriving job market, but buying a home is becoming more expensive,” said Yun. “That is why it is an absolute necessity for there to be a large increase in new and existing homes available for sale in coming months to moderate home price growth. Otherwise, sales will remain stuck in this holding pattern and a growing share of would-be buyers—especially first-time buyers—will be left on the sidelines.”

“While many buyers will be able to successfully adjust to higher mortgage rates, first-timers with a lot of debt and little cash are more likely to get tripped up,” Hale said.

Overall, existing home sales are still expected to increase year over year. Yun predicts existing home sales to be around 5.61 million in 2018, over 5.51 million in 2017.

Existing Home Sales Grow, But Not Like 2017

 

Existing home sales saw an uptick in March growing 1.1 percent to 5.6 million from 5.54 million in February according to the latest existing-home sales data released by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) on Monday.

However, sales remained 1.2 percent below the same period last year as a shortage of inventory and constraints kept sales activity below the 2017-levels, the report indicated. The monthly existing-home sales data by NAR includes completed transactions for single-family , townhomes, condominiums, and co-ops.

According to the data, the median price of existing homes in March was $250,400 and marked an increase of 5.8 percent from $236,600 recorded in March 2017. The price increase in March 2018 marked the seventy-third consecutive month of year-over-year price gains.

“Although the strong job market and recent tax cuts are boosting the incomes of many households, speedy price growth is squeezing overall affordability in several markets—especially those out West,” said Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at NAR.

A shortage of supply of existing homes is another factor that has kept home sales below the year-ago level according to Yun. “Robust gains last month in the Northeast and Midwest – a reversal from the weather-impacted declines seen in February – helped overall sales activity rise to its strongest pace since last November at 5.72 million,” he said. “The unwelcoming news is that while the healthy is generating sustained interest in buying a home this spring, sales are lagging year-ago levels because supply is woefully low and home prices keep climbing above what some would-be buyers can afford.”

By the end of March, total housing inventory climbed 5.7 percent to 1.67 million existing homes available but was still 7.2 percent lower than the same period a year ago, NAR’s data indicated. Inventory has fallen year-over-year for 34 consecutive months now and unsold inventory is at a 3.6 month supply at the current sales pace.

Shortage of inventory has also led to stiff competition as buyer demand continues to grow, NAR said. According to the report, properties stayed on the market for 30 days in March, down from 37 days in February and 34 days last year. In fact, the report said, 50 percent of homes sold in March were on the market for less than a month.

Yun pointed out that real estate agents were seeing the seasonal ramp-up in buyer demand, but without the commensurate increase in new listings coming onto the market. “As a result, competition is swift and homes are going under contract in roughly a month, which is four days faster than last year and a remarkable 17 days faster than March 2016,” he said.

Is Home Seller Enthusiasm Waning?

The latest report from Redfin shows that home sale prices in March were still on the way up—they were 9 percent higher than a year ago, closing the month at a median $297,000 nationally.

But homes for sale were down across the board as well. Compared to March 2017, the number of on the market in the United States was down 12 percent. More telling, the number of newly listed homes fell 5.6 percent from last year, something Redfin classifies as “a sign of possible waning seller enthusiasm and ongoing tight market conditions.”

Redfin Chief Economist Nela Richardson said one explanation for the dropoff in housing movement this March might have been the fact that Easter came so early.

“Sellers are slow to list this year and we aren’t seeing enough new construction homes to fill the gap,” Richardson said. “If we don’t see the new listings number turn around next month or a pickup in new housing starts, inventory will be a persistent drag on sales for the remainder of the year.”

If seller enthusiasm is waning, buyer demand is still strong. According to Redfin, the typical home went under contract in 43 days in March. That’s eight days faster than a year earlier and faster than any March on record.

Among homes that sold last month, 24 percent sold above their list price, up from 22.3 percent last March. One in five homes that sold in March went under contract within two weeks of their debut, compared to 18.4 percent last year. The Bay Area had much higher numbers than the average, though. In San Jose, 83 percent of houses sold above list price. In San Francisco and Oakland, three-quarters of houses sold higher than listed.

Seattle (for the second month in a row) and Denver were the fastest-moving markets in the country. Houses there were on the market for a median of just seven days in March. The Bay Area also saw houses close in less than two weeks.

As is typically the case, prices grew most in the Bay Area. San Jose saw prices leap by 32 percent from a year ago; San Francisco almost 17 percent.

But less-typical markets showed price growth as well. Allentown, Pennsylvania, saw prices climb 22 percent since last year, just 1 percent more than the prices in Detroit.

At the same time, inventory dropped in 65 of the 73 most populous metros Redfin tracked. In 48 of those metros, inventory fell more than 10 percent compared to last year. Baton Rouge; Washington, D.C.; and Allentown bucked the declining inventory trend, respectively adding 26.6 percent, 11.8 percent, and 11.4 percent to housing supply from last year.

Margaritaville Resort Orlando has paradise under construction

 

Paradise isn’t built in a day, but Margaritaville Resort Orlando is trying to get it done by this summer.

The $750 million, a 300-acre resort in Osceola County has under a 180-room Margaritaville hotel, 1,000 resort vacation cottages, 300 timeshare units and a 12-acre, multimillion-dollar water park. As such, the resort held a behind-the-scenes construction tour of the property with media on March 26 that showed the latest work.

Primarily, the resort’s 1,000-plus vacation cottages are well underway on construction with the first 25 units set to be ready by July. The next 25 units, which will be built in 25 increments, will begin construction immediately at the completion of the previous 25 cottages.

“We have 25 railed up and you will see those coming up shortly. The concept is that we have six different islands or villages of about 200 each. We are trying to have every home be unique with no duplicates,” Jim Bagley, managing director of project developer Encore Capital Management, told  Journal, noting that the resort will have at least 300 homes finished every year.

Also, underway is the new Margaritaville hotel, which has two wings of about 90 rooms apiece. The hotel’s drywall is being installed on the western wing of the hotel with plans for those rooms to be completed by December. The hotel’s east wing currently is installing exterior framing and is running about 30 days behind the west wing, but Bagley said both of the hotel’s wings should be done at the same time for the late holiday season.

Amenities at the hotel include s 5,000-square-foot kids’ club and fitness center, a 2,500-square-foot food and beverage outlet and a 10,000-square-foot, zero-entry beach lagoon that will open by July.

“Right now the building shells and ironworks are being built on those amenities. We are also in good shape for the first pools. We expect to have 5,000 renters here on the weekend and we need to have pools to accommodate that, so the amenities will be able to accommodate 1,000 people apiece,” Bagley added.

As for the 200,000-square-foot retail center, space is filling up as tenants keep singing on. Tenants include Studio Movie Grill, GameTime, a Rascal Flatts restaurant, a KISS Rock & Brews, Skechers, Bahama Bucks Original Shaved Ice Co., Avalon Day Spa, Café Rio, Cold Stone Creamery, Paradise Spirits & Wine and BurgerFi.

Margaritaville Resort Orlando is expected to radically transform Kissimmee’s iconic U.S. Highway 192 tourist corridor when it opens later this year. The resort will boost Central ‘s lodging and activities and should spur more capital investment here. Orlando’s $60 billion tourism industry — the region’s main economic engine — draws 68 million visitors annually.

US Economic Observations: January 2018

It is well known that there are issues in the home purchase market, but there is less information on the single-family rental market, which makes up one-half of residential rentals. The CoreLogic Single Family Rental Index reflects rents paid on single-family houses and condos, and using this index we can dissect rent growth by both price tier and metro area.

LPI Blog

Figure 1 shows the 12-month change in our national rental index from 2005 to today. Rents for single-family fell during the Great Recession but then bounced back strongly from their low point in mid-2009 and have been trending up, mirroring home price growth. In October 2017, the index measured rent growth of 2.7 percent from a year ago. We can also show rent changes for the high-end (those rents 25 percent or more above the median rent in that market) and the low end (those rents 25 percent or less below the median in that market). The low-end single-family rental tier lagged the high-end tier from mid-2009 to early 2014, but then the low-end began steadily outpacing the high-end and the difference is growing. This mirrors the same high demand, low- supply forces that have caused low-end home prices to outpace high-end prices, as evidenced by shorter days-on-market and tighter inventory for low-end homes. Investors who entered the market to buy up distressed properties during the housing crisis might be exacerbating this trend in the rental market. High-end rents increased 2 percent in October from a year ago, while low-end rents increased by more than twice as much – 4.2 percent.

LPI Blog

We can also look at the difference between low-end and high-end rent growth by metro area. Figure 2 shows that low-end rents have been increasing in the largest 20 markets, with Seattle leading the large metros with the biggest increase in rents at 7.9 percent in October. Austin had the smallest increase in low-end rents of the large metros. In most of the 20 markets shown in the chart, low-end rents are increasing faster than high-end rents, and the trend is happening all over the country, not just in one region. The one exception is Warren, Mich., where low-end and high-end rents are increasing at about the same rate. The biggest spread in low-end and high-end rent increases was in Charlotte, N.C., where the low-end increased 5.6 percent and the high-end showed no increase.

The single-family rental market is an important and often overlooked segment of the and is affected by rising demand and constrained supply just like the rest of the housing market. The demand and supply pressures are especially apparent for lower-cost homes, for which rents are increasing at a much faster rate than for higher-cost homes

February 06, 2018, Irvine, Calif. –

  • Largest Price Gains During 2017 Were in California, Idaho, Nevada, Utah and Washington
  • Affordability Continues to Erode, Especially in Low-Price Range
  • Home Prices Projected to Increase by 4.3 Percent by December 2018

CoreLogic® (NYSE: CLGX), a leading global property information, analytics and data-enabled solutions provider, today released its CoreLogic Home Price Index (HPI) and HPI Forecast for December 2017, which shows home prices are up both year over year and month over month. Home prices nationally increased year over year by 6.6 percent from December 2016 to December 2017, and on a month-over-month basis home prices increased by 0.5 percent in December 2017 compared with November 2017,* according to the CoreLogic HPI.

Looking ahead, the CoreLogic HPI Forecast indicates that home prices will increase by 4.3 percent on a year-over-year basis from December 2017 to December 2018, and on a month-over-month basis home prices are expected to decrease by 0.4 percent from December 2017 to January 2018. The CoreLogic HPI Forecast is a projection of home prices using the CoreLogic HPI and other economic variables. Values are derived from state-level forecasts by weighting indices according to the number of owner-occupied households for each state.

“The number of homes has remained very low,” said Dr. Frank Nothaft, chief economist for CoreLogic. “Job growth lowered the unemployment rate to 4.1 percent by year’s end, the lowest level in 17 years. Rising income and consumer confidence has increased the number of prospective homebuyers. The net result of rising demand and limited for-sale inventory is a continued appreciation in home prices.”

According to CoreLogic Market Condition Indicators (MCI) data, an analysis of housing values in the country’s 100 largest metropolitan areas based on housing stock, 35 percent of metropolitan areas have an overvalued housing market as of December 2017. The MCI analysis categorizes home prices in individual markets as undervalued, at value or overvalued by comparing home prices to their long-run, sustainable levels, which are supported by local market fundamentals such as disposable income. Also, as of December, 28 percent of the top 100 metropolitan areas were undervalued and 37 percent were at value. When looking at only the top 50 markets based on housing stock, 48 percent were overvalued, 14 percent were undervalued and 38 percent were at value. The MCI analysis defines an overvalued housing market as one in which home prices are at least 10 percent higher than the long-term, sustainable level, while an undervalued housing market is one in which home prices are at least 10 percent below the sustainable level.

“Home prices continue to rise as a result of aggressive monetary policy, the economic and jobs recovery and a lack of housing stock. The largest price gains during 2017 were in five Western states: California, Idaho, Nevada, Utah and Washington,” said Frank Martell, president and CEO of CoreLogic. “As home prices and the cost of originating loans rise, affordability continues to erode, making it more challenging for both first time buyers and moderate-income families to buy. At this point, we estimate that more than one-third of the 100 largest metropolitan areas are overvalued.”

*November 2017 data was revised. Revisions with public records data are standard, and to ensure accuracy, CoreLogic incorporates the newly released public data to provide updated results.

Methodology

The CoreLogic HPI is built on industry-leading public record, servicing and securities real-estate databases and incorporates more than 40 years of repeat-sales transactions for analyzing home price trends. Generally released on the first Tuesday of each month with an average five-week lag, the CoreLogic HPI is designed to provide an early indication of home price trends by market segment and for the “Single-Family Combined” tier representing the most comprehensive set of properties, including all sales for single-family attached and single-family detached properties. The indexes are fully revised with each release and employ techniques to signal turning points sooner. The CoreLogic HPI provides measures for multiple market segments, referred to as tiers, based on property type, price, time between sales, loan type (conforming vs. non-conforming) and distressed sales. Broad national coverage is available from the national level down to ZIP Code, including non-disclosure states.

CoreLogic HPI Forecasts are based on a two-stage, error-correction econometric model that combines the equilibrium home price—as a function of real disposable income per capita—with short-run fluctuations caused by market momentum, mean-reversion, and exogenous economic shocks like changes in the unemployment rate. With a 30-year forecast horizon, CoreLogic HPI Forecasts project CoreLogic HPI levels for two tiers—“Single-Family Combined” (both attached and detached) and “Single-Family Combined Excluding Distressed Sales.” As a companion to the CoreLogic HPI Forecasts, Stress-Testing Scenarios align with Comprehensive Capital Analysis and Review (CCAR) national scenarios to project five years of home prices under baseline, adverse and severely adverse scenarios at state, Core Based Statistical Area (CBSA) and ZIP Code levels. The forecast accuracy represents a 95-percent statistical confidence interval with a +/- 2.0 percent margin of error for the index.

Inventory Shortage at Crisis Levels in Nation’s Hottest Housing Markets

For-sale inventory is stuck at crisis levels in some of the nation’s hottest housing markets where home values are appreciating fastest. The number of homes for sale nationwide has declined on an annual basis for the past 35 straight months, and just 16.7 percent of a panel of housing expertsii surveyed in December 2017 expect a meaningful increase of home building in 2018, a sign that limited inventory could continue to drive the housing market this year.

 

“Tight inventory fueled by a tight labor market and low interest rates propelled home values to record heights in 2017, but the outlook is now much less certain,” said Zillow senior economist Aaron Terrazas. “Tax reform will put more money in the pocket of the typical buyer, but will limit some housing-specific deductions. Overall, this should increase demand for the most affordable and ease competition somewhat in the priciest market segments. On the supply side, the market is starving for new homes, but it won’t be easy for builders struggling with high and rising land, labor and lumber costs. Aging millennials and young families may be able to find more affordable new homes this year, but they’ll most likely be in further-flung suburbs with more grueling commutes to urban job centers.”

Lack of inventory, coupled with strong demand from home buyers, is one reason why home values across the country are reaching new peaks. The median U.S. home value rose 6.5 percent over the past year to $206,300, the highest it has ever been.