Homeowners in US hold back on selling as buyers get pickier

American property buyers are now picker, forcing sellers to reconsider their options.

BOSTON: US homeowners are getting increasingly reluctant to sell in a market where buyers are demanding price cuts.

The number of new listings fell 2.3% in June from a year earlier, according to a report Tuesday by Realtor.com. But because properties are sitting on the market longer, the overall supply was up 2.8%. That’s still about half of the annual inventory growth rate at the start of the year.

Buyers pulled back late last year after a spike in mortgage rates added to an affordability crisis, especially in already-pricey areas. While borrowing costs have since dropped, purchases have been slow to recover. Sellers last month cut prices on a fifth of listings, compared with a sixth of them a year earlier, according to Realtor.com.

For buyers, a tightening market means fewer choices just as lower mortgage rates give them a boost in purchasing power.

“Sellers are having to cater more to buyer’s needs,” Realtor.com Chief Economist Danielle Hale said in a phone interview. “They’re getting the message that maybe it’s better to hold off listing homes right now.”