Why Buying a Home Is More Expensive Than Ever

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Living through a global pandemic is making lots of us reconsider our most basic life choices. For some, it's an opportunity to seek out love or try a new hobby or even change careers; for others, it's a moment to realize that our living situation is just not working anymore. Americans all over the nation have been pulling up and moving somewhere else, whether it's across town or cross-country, to line up with their real priorities. The housing market, however, is presenting us with a big problem.

The National Association of Realtors, which tracks home prices, has announced that we're paying more for fewer homes almost universally. Realtors are happy that housing is getting more expensive, but part of that comes from national shortages of new homes for sale. In 2017, prospective buyers could have snapped up every available new property in four and a half months; the NAR reports that now we could do the same in 10 weeks.

The short version is that we haven't been building enough entry-level or affordable housing for years now. Even before COVID-19, millennials who did own property weren't interested in moving. Now, even buying previously owned homes costs 16 percent more than it did a year ago. If you're working to get ahead in this historically tight housing market, you've got some tools on your side. The pandemic has made things way weirder than normal, but if you've got your numbers lined up, you can put yourself in a position to pounce as soon as possible.