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When it Comes to Explaining Low Inventory Some Theories Are Better Than Others

Everyone agrees the U.S. housing market is being squeezed by low inventory. What they don’t agree on is why.

As home inventory sits near post-recession lows, there are many hypotheses on why there are so few homes for sale today. Here are the five leading theories: (1) investors bought up too many foreclosures during the bust and are hording them as rentals, (2) rising prices have made buying a home unaffordable, (3) owners don’t want to sell if they don’t think they can buy another home, (4) too many home-owning boomers can’t or don’t want to move, and (5) owners who want to trade up can’t find an affordable home at the next level.

To date, these educated guesses have primarily been tested in isolation through simple correlations with inventory, with little or no regard to analyzing what their impact is relative to other factors. When you wear statistical blinders, you run the risk of ignoring potentially more impactful factors when you’re trying to identify the cause of a problem. To be fair, we’re just as guilty as anyone of looking at possible reasons for low inventory in in isolation when we looked at rising home values and a widening price gap. Continue reading Trulia article here…

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