Coastal North Carolina Real Estate News & Market Trends

You’ll find our blog to be a wealth of information, covering everything from local market statistics and home values to community happenings. That’s because we care about the community and want to help you find your place in it. Please reach out if you have any questions at all. We’d love to talk with you!

Sept. 23, 2021

Offer to Purchase | The Buyers Right to Inspect

Sept. 16, 2021

Looking for property near the ocean?

Purchasing Coastal Real Estate.

With almost 330 miles of ocean shoreline, North Carolina boasts some of the most spectacular beaches in the nation. And quite a few of those beaches are right here in our backyards, with Wrightsville Beach, Carolina Beach, and Topsial Island.

But before buying, you should be aware of other factors that accompany the pleasures of owning property near the beach. Most oceanfront real estate in North Carolina is located on barrier islands. These narrow strips of land between the sea and sound are particularly vulnerable to ocean forces such as storms and beach erosion that can threaten your prospective property and undercut its value. This post focuses on questions you should ask as a potential purchaser of coastal real estate, whether you are considering an undeveloped lot or an existing building.

*Information shared below comes from the NCREC Q&A Brochure on Purchasing Coastal Real Estate in North Carolina. Copyright 12/1/2018, North Carolina Real Estate Commission (NCREC), Raleigh NC, This work was partially supported by grant NA46RGO087 from the National Sea Grant College Program, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, to the North Carolina Sea Grant College Program   

What unusual hazards can affect real estate along ocean shorelines?

Real estate near the ocean or an inlet is at risk for shoreline erosion. The property boundary adjacent to the water is influenced by forces of nature and changes from day to day and year to year.

What causes shoreline erosion?

Shoreline erosion is caused by many factors including seasonal fluctuations in the width of the beach, storm- induced erosion, long-term erosion, a gradual rise in sea level, and inlet migration/oscillations. Generally, North Carolina’s beaches are seasonally narrower in the stormy fall and winter months. The mean high water line may move landward temporarily by 75 to 100 feet during the stormy season. This "seasonal" erosion usually recovers for the summer tourist season. A severe storm can cause dune erosion between 25 and 150 feet. While much of the storm-induced dune erosion may be temporary, it can sometimes take years or even decades for the dunes to recover. Chronic, long-term erosion is the accumulation of many causes which result in the permanent loss of sand from the beach and dune. Some sand may be lost offshore in the worst storms. Storm waves may also overwash low islands, moving sand to the backside of the island and into the bay. where sand may also be trapped by the inlets. A gradual rise in sea level also contributes to shoreline erosion. Sea level in North Carolina has risen 1 to 1.5 feet over the last century and could increase an additional 2 to 11 inches by 2045. By 2100, sea level may rise more than 3 feet. Ocean beaches react to sea level rise by eroding farther inland. Tidal inlets between the barrier islands also can be extremely volatile. A few of North Carolina's inlets persistently migrate in one direction at over100 feet per year. Inlets also can cause the ocean shoreline for some distance away from the inlet to oscillate, as first one side and then the other side traps sand and builds dunes as the other erodes over years or decades.

What is the typical erosion rate of a North Carolina shoreline?

North Carolina Division of Coastal Management studies show an average long-term erosion rate of approximately 1.6 feet annually for the entire coast over the last 70 years. Some areas have lost over 13 feet per year. Ocean shorelines near inlets and inlet shorelines usually experience the greatest fluctuations, on the order of 10 times non-inlet erosion rates for a decade or longer.

For information on erosion rates, contact the N.C. Division of Coastal Management or the local permitting office.

For erosion rate maps: http://www. nccoastalmangement.net/Maps/SB_Factor.htm

For shoreline change maps and inlets: http:// www. nccoastalmangement.net/Maps/shoreline_mapintro.htm

Will I automatically be informed about erosion, erosion rates and oceanfront building setbacks?

Not necessarily. North Carolina law does not specifically require that the information be disclosed to buyers other than the original builder. Purchasers should be sure to research coastal hazards and their potential impact on the property. If you are working with a licensed real estate broker, the broker has a duty to disclose material facts that the broker knows or reasonably should know. Although real estate brokers may not always know the erosion rates or setback location for particular oceanfront properties, they should advise you of the possibility of erosion and direct you to available sources of information. If the broker knows the erosion rate or building setback for a particular property, the broker should disclose it to you.

If I purchase undeveloped oceanfront property, where should I build on the lot?

North Carolina regulations require that new construction be a certain distance or setback from the ocean. The setback is measured landward from the line of stable, natural vegetation nearest the sea, usually near the base of the frontal dune. Other restrictions also may apply. Local permit officers can locate the minimum setbacks on your lot. Purchasers should note that the required setback does not guarantee a safe location. In fact, it implies that if erosion occurs as expected, a new building could be sitting on the beach or destroyed in 30 years (about the time the structure is paid for under a traditional 30-year mortgage). Because the ocean shoreline is eroding, it may be in your best interest to build farther landward than the minimum distances allowed

What building construction features help reduce or prevent storm damage?

Several features can prevent or substantially reduce the likelihood of damage from severe storms or erosion. Piling foundations can raise the first floor above expected flood elevations and waves. Avoiding the storm surge and waves is critical for storm survival. Determine the floor elevation relative to local flood predictions. Higher elevations are safer.

Embedding the tip of pilings deeper than five feet below sea level can help a building stand during temporary storm-induced dune erosion episodes and long-term erosion. Building code changes in 1986 make it more likely that later oceanfront buildings will have deeper foundations. Purchasers should consider researching the depth of the existing pilings relative to the depth of potential erosion.

Any walls constructed between pilings should be designed to break away when hit by waves without damaging the elevated building. Generally, the enclosed space in the floodplain may be used only for parking, storage or access to the elevated building but may not be used for living area.

The wind resistance of the building depends on good connections from the peak of the roof to the bottom of foundation. The resistance of all the exterior surfaces to wind-blown water is also critical to reduce interior damage. Wind-blown debris damage can be reduced by storm shutters or impact-resistant glass. Consider hiring an inspection professional to determine if the building meets the present building codes or can be improved to meet them.

Discounts on your homeowners insurance may be available for some building features. Click Here for more info

Sand dunes also provide significant protection from erosion and waves during severe storms. Generally, the bigger the dune and the farther landward it is located, the more storm protection it offers. However, it is important to understand that sand dunes offer little protection from longterm erosion. For more details on dune protection and erosion see the Dune Book

If my oceanfront property becomes threatened by erosion can I construct a seawall?

No. Seawalls, bulkheads, revetments, groins, jetties or breakwaters are generally not allowed along the ocean beaches of North Carolina. These “hardened” erosion-control devices can damage the beach and adjacent properties.

If my oceanfront property becomes threatened by erosion can I construct temporary erosion-control structures such as sand bags?

If a building is imminently threatened by erosion, a property owner may be permitted to place large sandbags or build artificial sand dunes for temporary protection to allow the building to be relocated or until short-term erosion has reversed. Both size and time limits are placed on each temporary sandbag structure. [For information on site-specific erosion control projects, contact your local permit officer or the N.C. Division of Coastal Management.]

If my oceanfront property becomes threatened by erosion can I replenish the eroding shoreline by placing sand from an outside source onto my property?

Yes. Beach nourishment may be permitted in North Carolina. However, it provides only temporary relief and requires regular additions of sand for maintenance. To be effective, it must extend beyond the beach in front of a single property, generally along a mile or more of shoreline. It is, therefore, a community solution, rather than an individual property owner solution.

If my oceanfront property becomes threatened by erosion can I move my house away from the eroding shoreline?

Yes. If space allows, a structure can be moved landward on the same lot, or it can be relocated to a new property. If the building is relocated with private funds, it must be relocated the maximum feasible distance landward on the present property. If relocated with public funds, it must meet the current setback requirements

If my oceanfront property becomes threatened by erosion can I be required to move my house away from the eroding shoreline?

Yes. As of 1993, new development permits for oceanfront buildings require owners to move or dismantle erosion-threatened buildings (buildings that are less than 20 feet from the line of stable dune vegetation nearest the sea), unless natural shoreline recovery or beach nourishment takes place within two years and the structure is no longer threatened. [For information on site-specific erosion control projects, contact your local permit officer or the N.C. Division of Coastal Management.]

Can I get insurance for damage resulting from erosion and flooding?

Probably, but not always. You may be able to purchase a flood insurance policy (separate from a standard homeowner’s policy). The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) makes flood insurance available nationwide to eligible properties. NFIP policies are written by private insurance companies for a processing fee, and based on federally-mandated terms and costs. Discounts on annual premiums are available for buildings in some flood zones if constructed above the minimum floor elevation standards. To determine if NFIP insurance is available in your area, contact your insurance agent or see N.C. flood maps online. For elevation discounts and tips on rating existing buildings, see: http://www.ncfloodmaps.com/ pubdocs/grandfathering_letter.pdf. Determine the availability and cost of flood insurance in advance, and any limits on coverage. Private insurance coverage may be available for excess flood coverage or property not eligible for the NFIP.

Is flood insurance mandatory for coastal property? 

Sometimes. If the property is in an identified flood-prone area, federally insured lenders, including most banks, savings & loans and mortgage lenders, are required to have the building owner provide proof of flood insurance coverage for the life of the lien. Outside flood-prone areas, lenders still may require flood insurance to protect their lien and may declare the balance of the loan due and payable if coverage is not maintained. If a loan is not federally insured or there is no loan, no law requires flood insurance. Flood-prone areas are identified on Flood Insurance Rate Maps. (See above for sources.) Even if not required, when building or buying near the ocean, flood insurance is always a good idea. [For information about flood insurance and discounts, contact your local building official, insurance agent, the North Carolina Floodplain Mapping Program or the National Flood Insurance Program.]

What are the limitations of flood insurance?

Federal flood insurance covers only building and contents damage—including damage from waves— caused by flooding. Technically, damage caused by chronic, long-term erosion is not directly covered unless it occurs during a storm event. Federally-backed flood insurance coverage does not cover damage to the land caused by flood, waves or erosion. Therefore, much of the purchase price for oceanfront property is not insured if the land erodes. When a building is so damaged that it cannot be repaired or rebuilt, flood insurance may be inadequate to cover the cost of removing the structure and/or repaying the loan. Even if the building is undamaged, erosion that makes the lot “unbuildable” for new construction may cause the property value to significantly decline.

Should a prospective buyer inquire about flood insurance premiums before buying?

Yes. Congress amended the NFIP in 2012 and 2014. Additional amendments are under consideration. Annual premiums for some buildings have been raised significantly. It has been proposed to deny coverage to some buildings with higher claims. It is impossible to predict when or if Congress will modify the NFIP or how those changes may affect annual premiums. Additionally, all 20 of North Carolina’s coastal counties are scheduled to get new flood maps in 2018. The best advice for a prospective buyer is to research this issue thoroughly before making a purchase decision.

Can I get insurance for wind damage to coastal property?  

Probably. Because of the high risk in coastal areas, some private insurance companies exclude coverage for wind damage. For that reason, the N.C. Department of Insurance has established the Coastal Property Insurance Pool, formerly known as the “Beach Plan,” to provide wind coverage in areas where it is not otherwise available. Residential Windstorm Mitigation Credits are available at varying levels for several types of roof construction and re-roofing. Refer to the NC Joint Underwriting Association/NC Insurance Underwriting Association-Coastal Property Insurance pool for further information. (https://www.ncjuanciua.org) [For more information about the Beach Plan or homeowner’s policy coverage, contact your insurance agent or the North Carolina Department of Insurance.]

Can I rebuild or repair my building if it is damaged by a coastal storm, fire or other hazard?

Maybe. If the damage is less than 50 percent of the building’s market value immediately prior to the damage, you may be able to repair it at its original location. However, if the building is more than 50 percent damaged, repairs must meet the latest setback requirements, floodplain regulations and other building code requirements. Permits are required, as if it were new construction. In addition, repair or replacement on the lot would be prohibited if erosion has left insufficient space to meet the setback at that time. Purchasers should determine if the lot and building presently meet the setback for new construction and eligible for a replacement building, keeping in mind the risk that erosion may make the lot unbuildable in the future.

Additional Resources

North Carolina Division of Coastal Management 

252-808-2808 / 1-888-4RCOAST (1-888-472-6278) 

www.nccoastalmanagement.net

North Carolina Real Estate Commission

(919) 875-3700

www.ncrec.gov 

North Carolina Department of Insurance

For general information: 1-800-546-5664

http://www.ncdoi.com

For Beach Plan information: 1-800-662-7048

http://www.ncjua-nciua.org/ 

National Flood Insurance Program

http://www.ncfloodmaps.com/

http://www.floodsmart.gov/floodsmart/

Sept. 9, 2021

The Appraisal Gap: What you need to know

When supply is low and demand is high, economics 101 tells us that prices will rise. And that is what we are seeing in today's housing market. But that basic economics equation is causing some challenges when it comes to home appraisals.

Home prices are appreciating at near-historic rates, and in recent months we are see more and more appraisals come in below the contract price on the house. 

Shawn Telford, Chief Appraiser for CoreLogic says "Recently, we have observed buyers paying prices above listing price and higher then the market data available to appraisers can support. This difference is know as the appraisal gap..."

Why does an appraisal gap happen?

Basically, with the heightened buyer demand, purchasers are often willing to pay over asking to secure the home of their dreams. If you’ve ever toured a house you’ve fallen in love with, you understand. Once you start to picture yourself and your furniture in the rooms, you want to do everything you can to land the property, including putting in a high offer to try to beat out other would-be buyers.

When the appraiser comes in, they look at things a bit more objectively. Their job is to assess the inherent value of the home, so they’re going to study the facts. Dustin Harris, Appraiser Coach, drives this point home:

“It’s important for everyone to understand that the appraiser’s job in the end is to remain that unbiased third party, to truly tell the client what that home is worth in the current market, regardless of what decisions have been made on the price side of things.”

In simple terms, while homebuyers may be willing to pay more, appraisers are there to assess the market value of the home. Their goal is to make sure the lender isn’t loaning more money than the home is worth. It’s objective, rather than emotional.

What does this mean for you?

Ultimately, knowledge is power. The best thing you can do is understand an appraisal gap may impact your transaction if you’re buying or selling. If you do encounter an appraisal below your contract price, know that in today’s sellers’ market, the most common approach is for the seller to ask the buyer to make up the difference in price. Buyers, be prepared to bring extra money to the table if you really want the home.

Above all else, lean on your real estate agent. Whether you’re a buyer or seller, your trusted advisor is your ally if you come up against an appraisal gap. We’ll help you understand your options and handle any additional negotiations that need to happen.

 

Bottom Line: In todays real estate market, it is important to say informed on the latest trends. Work with a Realtor to help you navigate issues, like an appraisal gap, and get the best possible outcome.

Sept. 2, 2021

Nope this is not Normal!

Looking for extra storage in your house? The Wilmington, NC area offers some great small housing options with historic homes and seaside cottages.

According to Merriam-Webster normal means conforming to a type, standard, or regular pattern; characterized by that with is considered usual, typical, or routine.

Well maybe we are seeing a new normal start to emerge...but based on this definition we will need to see where the market goes from here before we make a determination if this is normal or not. But right now...this is not a normal market. 

Lets look at five key housing industry metrics, and you will see that we are still nowhere near normal...

Mortgage Rates

Looking at the 30-year mortgage rate, as chronicled by Freddie Mac, we can see the average rates by decade: 

  • 1970s: 8.86%
  • 1980s: 12.7%
  • 1990s: 8.12%
  • 2000s: 6.29%
  • 2010s: 4.09%

Today the average mortgage rate stands at about 2.87% - which while not quite a historic low, it is pretty close.

So no, current mortgage rates are anything but usual, typical, or routine.

Home Price Appreciation

According to Black Knight, a housing data and analytics company, the average annual appreciation on residential real estate prices since 1995 has been 4.14%.

According to the latest forecast from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), home price appreciation will hit 14.1% this year, which will be greater than any year since Black Knight began collecting this data.

Nope, home price appreciation is anything but usual, typical, or routine.

Months Supply of Inventory (aka how many homes are for sale)

Months’ supply refers to the number of months it would take for the current inventory of homes on the market to sell given the current sales pace. Historically, six months of supply is associated with moderate price appreciation, and a lower level of months’ supply tends to push prices up more rapidly. 

As of the latest Existing Homes Sales Report from NAR, the current months’ supply of inventory stands at 2.6. That’s less than half of a normal supply. In looking at our local data, this supply is much lower in the Wilmington, NC Area, when you consider the average price point of our clients. While there is more supply now then at the beginning of the summer (our typical busy season) there is still very low inventory of home in the area. 

The months supply inventory is not usual, typical, or routine.

Days On Market (aka how long it takes to sell your home)

The days-on-market metric gives an indication of how hot a market is and how quickly homes are selling. In 2019, prior to the pandemic, the average days on market stood at 35, according to NAR. Today, that number is cut in half and is now at 17 days.

Nope, another metric that is not usual, typical, or routine.

Number of Offers per Listing

According to NAR, the number of offers per listing stood at 2.2 in 2019. Today, that number is double at 4.5.

So another metric that is not usual, typical, or routine.

When... mortgage prices are a near historic lows, price appreciation is at historic highs, housing inventory is low, the time it takes to sell a home is cut in half, and there are twice as many offers on each house...

it's hard to say that we are in a normal market!

June 2, 2021

Ready to buy?

Here's what you need to know about working with agents in North Carolina!

 

If you have any questions about working with a Real Estate Agent in North Carolina please don't hesitate to reach out!  Check out our team and reach out to any of our agents, they would all be more than happy to help. You can find our team here: About Us 

Thanks to the North Carolina Real Estate Commission for this video. NCREC.gov for more information. 

May 26, 2021

Ready to Sell?

Here's what you need to know about working with agents in North Carolina!

 

If you have any questions about working with a Real Estate Agent in North Carolina please don't hesitate to reach out!  Check out our team and reach out to any of our agents, they would all be more than happy to help. You can find our team here: About Us 

Thanks to the North Carolina Real Estate Commission for this video. NCREC.gov for more information. 

May 19, 2021

Remember Closing Costs!

When buying a home, it’s important to have a budget and make sure you plan ahead for certain homebuying expenses. Saving for a down payment is the main cost that comes to mind for many, but budgeting for the closing costs required to get a mortgage is just as important.

 

What Are Closing Costs?

Closing costs are the fee that you need to pay when closing on your new home. These typically include title insurance, origination fees, underwriting fees, document preparation fees, and more. You should expect these fees to be between 2 and 5 percent of the total cost of your new home.

For example, for someone buying a $300,000 home, they could potentially have between $6,000 and $15,000 in closing fees. If you’re in the market for a home above this price range, your closing costs could be greater. As mentioned above, closing costs are typically between 2% and 5% of your purchase price. 

 

All the paperwork!

When you close on your new home there is a lot of paperwork, and it is really important to read through it all. Working with a great real estate agent (find one here!) a great lender (find one here!) and a great real estate attorney is important so that you don't get overwhelmed by all that paperwork at the last minute. These professionals will help you know what is expected and help you understand the documents ahead of time.

One of the most important pieces of paper you will see is your closing disclosure. This is the form that is going to break down for you all of the fees associated with your transaction. It will show the terms of your loan, final closing costs, and any outstanding fees for things like inspections. This form is due to you three days before closing so that you have time to review and make sure that it is correct. If you have any questions about the numbers or what these numbers mean be sure to reach out -- your Realtor is a great resource for helping you understand all the bits and pieces that are included in your closing disclosure. 

 

Bottom Line

As home prices are rising and more buyers are finding themselves competing in bidding wars, it’s more important than ever to make sure your plan includes budgeting for closing costs. Work with your lender and a local real estate professional to be sure you have everything you need to land your dream home.

May 5, 2021

Selling? How to prepare you home.

Homeowners ready to make a move are definitely in a great position to sell today. Housing inventory is incredibly low, driving up buyer competition. This gives homeowners leverage to sell for the best possible terms, and it’s fueling a steady rise in home prices.

In such a hot market, houses are selling quickly. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), homes are typically on the market for just 18 short days. Despite the speed and opportunity for sellers, there are still steps you can take to prep your house to shine so you get the greatest possible return.

 

1. Make Buyers Feel at Home

One of the ways to make this happen is to take time to declutter. Pack away any personal items like pictures, awards, and sentimental belongings. The more neutral and tidy the space, the easier it is for a buyer to picture themselves living there. According to the 2021 Profile of Home Staging by NAR:

“82% of buyers’ agents said staging a home made it easier for a buyer to visualize the property as a future home.”

Not only will your house potentially attract the attention of more buyers and likely sell quickly, but the same report also notes:

“Eighteen percent of sellers’ agents said home staging increased the dollar value of a residence between 6% and 10%.”

As Jessica Lautz, Vice President of Demographics and Behavior Insights for NAR, says:

“Staging a home helps consumers see the full potential of a given space or property…It features the home in its best light and helps would-be buyers envision its various possibilities.”

 

2. Keep It Clean

On top of making an effort to declutter, it’s important to keep your house neat and clean. Before a buyer stops by, be sure to pick up toys, make the beds, and wash the dishes. This is one more way to reduce the number of things that can distract a buyer from the appeal of the home.

Ensure your home smells fresh and clean as well. Buyers will remember the smell of your house, and according to the same report from NAR, the kitchen is one of the most important rooms of the house to focus on if you want to attract more buyers.

 

3. Give Buyers Access

Buyers are less likely to make an offer on your house if they aren’t able to easily schedule a time to check it out. If your home is available anytime, that opens up more opportunities for multiple buyers to go from curious to eager. It also allows buyers on tight schedules to still get in to see your house.

While health continues to be a great concern throughout the country, it’s important to work with your agent to find the best safety measures and digital practices for your listing. This will drive visibility and create access options that also keep everyone in the process safe.

 

4. Price It Right

Even in a sellers’ market, it’s crucial to set your house at the right price to maximize selling potential. Pricing your house too high is actually a detriment to the sale. The goal is to drive high attention from competing buyers and let bidding wars push the final sales price up.

Work with your trusted real estate professional to determine the best list price for your house. Having an expert on your side in this process is truly essential.

 

Bottom Line

If you want to sell on your terms, in the least amount of time, and for the best price, today’s market sets the stage to make that happen. Contact a local real estate professional today to determine the best ways to maximize the sale of your house this year.

 

April 14, 2021

5 Myths About Real Estate - Debunked!

1) A Home Passes or Fails an Inspection

This is not like an exam in high school where you either pass or fail. The point of an inspection is to assess the condition of the home, the good and the bad. The inspector will write up a summary after inspecting the home that reports on any issues the home has and the age of key systems, such as plumbing, electric, the roof, etc. This is a benefit not a hinderance.

2) All Agents Are the Same

This could not be farther from the truth! The general process of a transaction, be it buying or selling, is the same. However, an agent's approach, ability to negotiate and be flexible, the resources they have and the preferred lenders and attorneys they work with make certain agents invaluable to the home buying or selling process. When an agent is notably pleasant to work with other agents prefer to work with them as well, giving them a better chance of getting the deal done.

3) New Agents Don't Have the Know-How

Being new to any field and not having specific experience in real estate does not mean you do not have the "know-how". As in any job, it is the skills you can bring to the job and the continuing training that helps an agent succeed.

4) Agents Accept Kickbacks

A lot of people feel certain agents get kickbacks. A Congress bill RESPA (Real Estate Settlement Procedure Act) effectively restricted such unlawful activities in the real estate sector. We do offer a vendor list to our clients. It is by no means a paid endorsement of any kind, but rather a suggestion of quality vendors that we have used in the past that we know do exceptional work. 

5) Find Your Perfect Home and Then Get Your Pre-Approval

Buying a new home is exciting. It is no surprise that as a home buyer, one of the first things you want to do is to drive through desired neighborhoods looking at homes or attending open houses. But you should NOT focus your time on finding your desired home before getting pre-approved for a mortgage. Putting your pre-approval first, as many qualified real estate agents and lenders would tell you, will help your home buying process be less stressful and go much smoother. In an extremely competitive real estate market like today, having your pre-approval will give you a significant competitive edge in a scenario with multiple offers. 

April 7, 2021

When will the market cool off?

 

We are in a hot market right now! Properties are not staying on the MLS long. Many with offers in place with sight unseen. Cash offers are paving the way in the market.

The inventory of available homes for sale is now at a record low. 

It is driving competition and home prices ever higher across many regions of the country including ours. With demand for homes remaining strong, it's hard to imagine when the market might become more affordable and that has left many buyers wondering whether they should act now or just wait it out. 

Different story a year ago...

Home Buying fell off a cliff when the pandemic hit. Home sales dropped about 40%. But, while home sales bounced back last May, the inventory has not. And that's the issue, because of lack of supply, the demand is that much higher - causing prices to rise as well. Frustrated buyers want to know when this will end. As prices rise and mortgage rates climb - the housing market may cool down in the fall. But that is pure speculation.

Most people took advantage of the lower interest rates when they refinanced their homes last year - more affordable payments and shorter terms on their current mortgage may also be a reason the inventory is low.

Builders are trying their best to get new homes into inventory - but they are being bought up just as quickly. 

Who knows what the rest of 2021 will bring with the housing market. Only time will tell.