The real estate industry has managed to survive the pandemic pretty much unscathed. However, now that life is starting to return to normal, real estate agents who participated in HomeLight’s 2021 Spring survey say they are experiencing a housing shortage. There are far more buyers entering the market than sellers that are putting their homes on the market and this has realtors a little concerned.

On the flip side, agents are optimistic that things will improve throughout the year. The factors they’re predicting that will help improve the housing shortage are as follows.


Americans are receiving the COVID vaccine throughout the country and this leads to 50% of surveyed agents predicting that both buyers and sellers will become more active. As optimistic as that sounds, 53.6% of that group say sellers in their area are still hesitant to list their homes but they do plan to do so in the upcoming months once the vaccination rate increases in their area.

Secondary or vacation home sales

Homeowners that have had the ability to work from home during the pandemic may be able to continue to work from home on a permanent basis. This possibility could be the spark that would make homeowners who have more than one property decide which home they’d like to live in full-time and put the other house up for sale.

If this does happen, agents, believe it will be a big factor in replenishing their local market, be it in the suburbs, the city, or a vacation destination.

Tax incentives

It can be super hard for first-time buyers to save up enough money for the recommended 20% down payment – this is especially true if you live in an expensive area where house prices are pretty high. Can you imagine how long you’d have to save $70,000 for a $350,000 house??

There is hope on the horizon because there are a few tax incentive proposals that would allow low-income first-time buyers access to the tax benefits that they’d normally have to wait until tax season to claim. President Biden proposed a $15,000 tax incentive that could be accessed immediately and Maxine Waters, the House Financial Services Chair, proposed first-time buyers could receive up to $25,000 for a down payment.

Note: Keep in mind that these are just proposals at the moment and it’s unclear when these proposals will be voted on by congress.

Low inventory won’t last forever

The housing market is extremely competitive right now and it can be a little scary entering the market when you have to buy a house while selling your current one. While you could stand to make a decent profit if you sell now, considering that housing prices are steadily increasing and buyers are pulling out all of the stops when submitting an offer, there’s always the possibility that you could find yourself in a bidding war.

If you do decide to sell your home and you’ve found a new home you absolutely love, you’ll definitely want to consult your real estate agent for advice. Your agent will be able to guide you through the process of creating an appealing offer that the seller can’t refuse. They’ll be able to give you advice if you wind up in a bidding war when you’re buying or how to sift through offers and choose the best one when you’re selling.