Buyers Can Expect More Fixer-Upper Homes for Sale Than in Years Past

Rising home prices and tough buyer competition may be giving sellers more flexibility to list their home for sale “as-is” without needing to fix it up. A new Zillow analysis shows there are 12 percent more fixer-uppers for sale now than five years ago.

Zillow identified the number of fixer-upper homes listed for sale beginning in 2011 and ending in 2015, and compared them to overall for-sale inventory trends.

To identify fixer-uppers, Zillow mined historical listing descriptions for phrases like “fixer-upper,” “TLC” and “needs work.”

Nationally, expensive fixer-uppers, or those priced within the top third of their markets, saw the biggest surge in inventory over the past five years, rising nearly 35 percent.

Conversely, affordably priced fixer-uppers, or those valued within the bottom tier, increased less than 3 percent.

So what’s happening?

There aren’t enough homes on the market to accommodate buyer demand in many U.S. metros. As a result, sellers have the luxury to list their home for sale “as-is” because they know it will likely still sell, even if it needs a little TLC.

For example, in Seattle, one of the nation’s hottest housing markets, for-sale inventory has decreased 10 percent over the past five years; however, fixer-upper listings increased 33 percent over the same time period.

“Across the country, homes are selling fast and for high prices,” says Svenja Gudell, Zillow’s chief economist. “Sellers are in the driver’s seat, with the freedom to list their home for sale ‘as-is’ without worrying about price cuts or the home sitting on the market. And without sufficient new construction, the housing stock has aged, so home buyers are finding more and more homes on the market in need of a little TLC.”

Curious if there are more fixer-uppers in your area? Local data is available in Zillow’s full report.


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