"The one major predicament in the housing market is without a doubt the painfully low levels of housing inventory in much of the country. It's leading to home prices outpacing wages, properties selling a lot quicker than a year ago and the home search for many prospective buyers being highly competitive and drawn out because of a shortage of listings at affordable prices."
"Inventory has been extremely tight all year and is unlikely to improve now that the seasonal decline in listings is about to kick in. Unfortunately, there won't be much relief from new home construction, which continues to be grossly inadequate in relation to demand."
"There's hope the leap in sales to first-time buyers can stick through the rest of the year and into next spring. The market fundamentals -- primarily consistent job gains and affordable mortgage rates -- are there for the steady rise in first-timers needed to finally reverse the decline in the homeownership rate."