Finding a new home is getting tougher, because while home sales rose in September, inventories are tight and prices are rising. Bobbi Rebell reports.
A lot of Americans are ready, willing, and able to buy homes. That helped drive September existing home sales to a stronger-than-expected seasonally adjusted increase of 4.7 percent, according to the National Association of Realtors. But keeping those numbers rising could be challenging because inventories are tight on both existing and new homes, and as a result prices are rising. Homebuilders are also cautious after being burned in the housing bubble, says PwC's Mitch Roschelle, who leads the company's real estate practice. (SOUNDBITE) MITCHELL ROSCHELLE, PARTNER, PRACTICE LEADER REAL ESTATE ADVISORY, PWC (ENGLISH) SAYING: "They are keeping inventories low. They are keeping their workforce sort of in check to control their cost they are not creating product. Supply and demand is very simple. If there is not enough supply, and there is demand which we see, its going to drive the prices up. " And, while they don't want to overhire, builders are also facing a tightening labor market. To that point, Pulte Group's profits fell because they sold fewer homes. That was in part because of construction delays that they blame on labor shortages. Pulte is now increasing wages to attract more workers, which will raise costs.