The housing market has been out of balance for a while now. Too many home buyers have been active in a market with too few homes for sale. That's the reason prices have been rising. It's also the reason homes have been selling so quickly. It's a problem with no quick solutions. Adding to the housing stock requires more new homes to built and more current homeowners to put their homes on the market. But while there aren't any easy answers, there are encouraging signs that next year will be a little better than this year's been. For one, the number of building permits for single-family homes has been rising and home builder confidence is high. Another positive sign is the number of forecasts predicting an increase in the number of existing homes that will be listed for sale in the coming year. For example, the National Association of Realtors' consumer website just released an outlook saying that existing-home inventory will actually show a slight increase in 2022, after suffering steep declines in 2021. Danielle Hale, the site's chief economist, says the market will remain competitive but should improve. “With more sellers expected to enter the market as buyer competition remains fierce, we anticipate strong home sales growth at a more sustainable pace than in 2021,” Hale said.