Anthony Gallino and his wife started looking, in earnest, for a house last June. The couple, both lawyers who work on the South Shore, eventually put in an offer on an older house, the kind that has two-pronged electrical outlets, but the deal didn’t work out.
The couple had started out picky – looking for homes constructed in the past couple of decades – but, with so little supply, they quickly widened their search, even looking at a home from the 1700s.
“We quickly had to abandon that dream,” Gallino said. “Anything that was new construction was going to be $100,000 to $150,000 more than my wife and I can afford.”
Last month, theybought a house, well above the asking price, in Kingston. The house is “far from perfect,” with lots of little things needing fixing, but they could afford it and it was nice enough. They kept one requirement: not waiving the home inspection.
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Gallino’s experience illustrates what real estate agents, bankers and economists say has been happening since the onset of the pandemic: Fewer houses are being put on the market and more people are competing to buy them, driving up prices.
Experts say that trend will continue in 2022 as would-be sellers continue to hold off on listing their homes, but the price increases will be less drastic because of rising inflation and mortgage rates.
The tight housing market on the South Shore, and the country, is compounded by a lack of new construction and rising rental costs and rental demand.
“I’m working with a lot of buyers now, and there are just no listings,” real estate agent Kathleen Duffy said. “I always ask, do you know anybody who is going to list?”
Duffy said 2021 was “chaos.”
“Everyone wanted to get in, with the low interest rates,” she said.
Duffy said few houses costing less than $1 million are on the market on the South Shore.
“The way I would …….