Scared Out of Selling: The New Fear Gripping Homeowners

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In U.S. cities where the prices of homes are soaring, it seems like there’s never been a better time to sell.

But there’s a catch.

Sellers in metro areas like San Francisco, Los Angeles, Boston, New York and Washington, D.C., are facing a shortage of homes for sale, meaning it’s hard for them to find a place they can afford to move into, CNN reports.

“One of the things we hear all the time is, ‘I’m afraid to sell my house because I can’t find another one,’” Glenn Kelman, C.E.O. of real estate brokerage firm Redfin, told CNN. The result? An ongoing lack of lower-priced homes on the market.

Take a look at San Francisco, where, according to CNN, the number of homes for sale decreased 8% between March 2013 and March 2014. Meanwhile, the median price of homes for sale increased 11.5%, to $867,000. The story is similar all over Massachusetts, where listings of single-family homes have fallen and median sale prices have increased for the past two years, according to The Warren Group.

In New York City, homes are now on the market for a record-breaking average of about three months, while median sale prices in first quarter 2014 were 16.9% higher than they were a year earlier.

The situation is even more difficult given the growing prevalence of all-cash deals, which made up 43% of all home sales in early 2014. Buyers who are able to purchase a home without getting a mortgage are significantly more appealing than those who can’t.

Considering whether now is the right time to sell your home and look for a brand-new one? Don’t forget about other factors, like whether you can afford the down payment and insurance.