Inventory problems to stick around for a ‘very long time’

Shant Banosian of Guaranteed Rate told Inman Connect New York attendees Thursday that a seller’s market is likely to persist for years.

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Panelists at Inman Connect New York this week have generally agreed that the market is poised to improve this year, but one leader said that even so, inventory problems are likely to stick around.

“I think we’re going to have massive inventory issues for a very long time,” Shant Banosian, a vice president at mortgage company Guaranteed Rate, told attendees in the Connect ballroom.

Banosian made the comments during a session that touched on everything from cash offers to the future of technology, and amid the conversation, he questioned whether new housing inventory could address a long-standing shortage of homes.

“There’s not going to be this tidal wave of new construction; it’s going to improve but not enough,” he said, adding a moment later that “At the end of the day, it’s still going to be a sellers’ market. We’re going to be here in five years talking about a seller’s market.”

Banosian also said during the session that homesellers need to keep an open mind when it comes to the types of buyers with whom they might want to do business. Though cash offers have proliferated in recent years —”What appeals to a seller and a seller’s agent is speed and certainty,” Banosian said — today technology improvements have narrowed the gap between different types of homebuyers.

“We can now approve somebody with certainty in 20 minutes,” Banosian said of the loan approval process. He added later that, unlike in the recent past when it took a month or more to complete a deal, “You can close a mortgage in eight days now.”

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From left to right, moderator Clelia Peters, Shant Banosian and Maya Velasquez at Inman Connect New York on Thursday. Credit: AJ Canaria Creative Services

Later, Banosian explained that his point was that consumers pursuing a real estate transaction need to have “all the tools” they can in their proverbial toolbox.

Banosian appeared on stage with Maya Velasquez, vice president of sales and marketing for marketplace technology company zavvie. She compared consumers’ options in a real estate deal to a traveler landing at a busy airport. The traveler can use a taxi or a train or an Uber or any number of other options to leave the airport.

The experience can be overwhelming, and it helps to have assistance in making sense of it all. But when it comes to real estate, it is worth having the options and leaning on “the whole tool belt.”

“My hope,” she said, “is there will always continue to be more adapters, more options.”

Email Jim Dalrymple II

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