Pent-up demand vs. supply
If everyone who's holding off on buying a home and everyone who's holding off on selling a home got together to commiserate over a beer, we'd need a heckuva big bar.
It's just one of the many outgrowths of the difficult housing market, not to mention one of the uncertainties the market is facing. People nervous about the possibility of continued price drops or unable to get a mortgage or worried about the stability of their job aren't running to the settlement table. Homeowners who can't sell for as much as they owe are cooling their heels, too -- along with some number of folks who aren't underwater but want to gain back some of their vanished home value before letting go. And some folks, of course, are in both camps -- they can't buy because they can't sell.
Wonk reader chappy10 figures pent-up supply, the would-be sellers who aren't selling, are "the larger group by leaps and bounds" compared with the pent-up supply of would-be buyers. "A lot of people *would* sell, but are unhappily stuck where they are," chappy10 writes.
So: Where do you fit? Would you like to buy, sell or sell and buy, or are you happy with your housing lot in life?