Housing shortage leaves buyers searching for a home

Published: Aug. 30, 2021 at 7:39 PM CDT
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - Realtors are calling it the “Perfect Real Estate Storm” or “The Housing shortage of 2021.” Whatever you want to call it, it’s a problem. The demand for homes is outpacing the supply and it’s a problem all across north Alabama.

Many families are moving to Alabama for jobs, but they can’t find a home. Or if they do find a home, they’re having to pay above the asking price to even get it.

WAFF spoke to several families that faced this problem. The Krepps family moved to Madison County in early August from the Houston area.

“It’s a weird market. We sold our house in the Houston area in one day. So we thought, let’s go find a home in Huntsville. We found out very quickly this housing market is even tighter,” said Jerimy Krepps.

The Krepps look at dozens of homes across Madison and Limestone County and put offers in on several of those homes. Finally, they found a home in Gurley. However, they paid above the asking price, waived appraisal and also waived inspection.

“Years ago I would never imagine waiving appraisal and inspection. But I think in this market you have to entertain it,” said Jerimy.

It’s a similar story for the Baker family. They’re a military family that moved to Huntsville from Ft. Hood, Texas.

“I think it’s challenging for a military family. We had envisioned that we would set a date and go house hunting, then pick out a home. Our realtor told us that is not going to happen,” said Ana Baker.

“We put in offers on 3 houses. Lost them all. Which was our wake-up call,” she said.

They finally found a home in Hampton Cove, they too paid above asking price and waived appraisal.

“It was nuts, we never thought we would have to pay above asking or wave appraisal. It was crazy,” she added.

Realtors across north Alabama tell WAFF they’re slammed. Homes we’re told, are only staying on the market an average of 12 days in Madison County. Also, home prices are up nearly 15 percent compared to last year.

“I’ve never seen anything like this,” said Amanda Howard. The owner of Amanda Howard Sotheby’s International Realty. She’s been in the industry for 20 years and says the market is on fire.

“There are so many buyers in our area, it has created the perfect storm where you have multiple offers and people looking for homes.”

We also caught up with Realtor Tim Knox, the owner of Revolved Realty.

“What’s happening with the market is we have a 20 year low on houses. Also, people are moving here from Washington, D.C., and Virginia. They’re coming here flushed with cash. So traditional homebuyers can’t get the financing they need and they’re behind,” said Knox.

The housing shortage is being seen all across north Alabama, not just in Madison County. Knox says there is stiff competition in Limestone County and Morgan County.

The big question is, will the housing market slow down anytime soon?

“I don’t see it slowing for the next 5 years. If you look at current census data. We are now the largest city in the state. We also look at trend reports showing companies are still moving into the area and they have seats they need to fill and they need to hire more workers. So I do think we will continue to see this for a while, I believe,” said Howard.

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