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Down, but Not Out: Buyers See Some Success

Against discouragingly inadequate inventory and high prices, buyers are finding a way, according to a new survey.

Fifty-one percent of homebuyers did not pay above asking price, despite concerns over multiple-offer scenarios, 42 percent made one or two offers, at most, and 34 percent were “unfazed” by the increases in prices and rates, according to a® survey. With close-to-impossible odds, what’s their secret?

More than 30 percent of homebuyers had more than 20 percent to put down—favorable, generally—and 30 percent checked in daily on listing websites, to learn about new properties. In addition, the buyers who closed were likely to be older, and likely to be experienced in the process.

According to Danielle Hale, chief economist at, the key is preparation.

“Successful homebuyers in 2018 have been exceptionally well-qualified,” says Hale. “We are seeing the impact of the inventory crisis in the data, and it’s holding back home sales. While would-be buyers struggle with limited inventory, rising prices and mortgage rates, those who closed were undeterred by today’s buyer frenzy. This is likely attributed to their experience, cash, and perhaps the market they’ve chosen to buy in.”

The average buyer who closed successfully, based on findings from the survey:

  • Bought a three-bedroom, two-bathroom home

  • Made four or fewer offers

  • Was 55 or older

  • Was in the market for six months or less

Markedly, 59 percent of millennials paid over the list price, affirming the challenges in the entry-level market.

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