SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Realtors in the Ozarks are still working with limited options. 

“There’s still an inventory shortage. So, buyers are starting to feel that again,” said Jason Nunn, an agent with Murney Associates. “In order to have a balanced, more balanced market, we really need to have around 2,000 homes available. Right now, there’s around 600.” 

In a lopsided market, with fewer homes available, the advantage goes to the seller. 

“Now that the weather’s warm and people are wanting to buy again, when you get into multiple offer situations, you see the prices rising on houses,” Nunn said. 

That can put buyers in a tough spot. 

“With there being a lot of competition right now in certain price ranges, you may need to be ready to jump on something, if it’s the right fit,” Nunn added. 

Suzanne Leach is a buyer who moved to Springfield from Cape Cod, Massachusetts to be closer to family, and even being new to the area, experienced the tough market. 

Living on a fixed income, Leach and Nunn were able to find a home in the competitive market. 

“I needed a place to find that I could afford to live in,” Leach said. “Jason had found out about a house that wasn’t listed yet, then I pounced on it, because I know it’s quite competitive right now.” 

Leach says she knew she had to act quickly before that home hit the market. 

“It probably would have sold for more than what I paid for it or I’m planning on paying for it,” Leach said. “All I can say is it’s a very competitive market and you really have to be on your tippy toes and be very sharp to find something that you feel you can live in.” 

Nunn says he doesn’t expect the market to shift drastically anytime soon, with limited homes and an average price point hovering around $250,000. 

“I don’t know when it’s going to go back to being a true buyer’s market because, you know, just because of the interest rates being as high as they are now, they’re still, you know, historically low, but we got so used to them being down around 3%,” Nunn said.

If you are interested in purchasing a home, Nunn says the best tip he can provide is to get pre-approved as soon as you can.