Real Estate Isn’t Fair: There’s No Longer Anything to Buy

If supply and demand rules everything, then please tell me what is going on with the market right now. 

The calendar year started with a ten-year low in inventory, 3285 listings for sale. Instead of seeing a build up in inventory in January, inventory actually dropped to 3157 listings by February 1st. This sometimes happens, where January is the doldrums and not much is going on in either the buying or selling side of things. Things usually start happening in February and get rolling in March.

Well things started happening in February, but it wasn’t a build up of inventory. As of this morning there are 3161 listings (patio home and single family combined) for sale. An increase of four units in a traditional inventory-build month. This has happened before, in 2002, inventory levels were almost identical and sale rate was almost identical. Average and median prices were also similar. And February ended up lower than January in terms of inventory. 

The part I find crazy is the sales rate: Last week when I ran the check on Tuesday, there were 1551 “contracted” listings (pending, under contract, under contract short-sale and first-right of refusal contingent on buyer’s listing closing). Six days later… there are 1742. If you throw out the short-sales and contingencies, there are 1325 pending and under contracts. That number is similar to a summer-time figure in 2007. But in summer 2007 there were 7000 listings to choose from. There are less than half that many now. 

I had a buyer scoff at the concept of anyone paying over asking price for any property on Friday. Well, I’ve been involved in 20 written offers since December 1st. I have put together less than half of those. Thirteen have been multiple offers. 

I’m not saying the market has recovered. I’m just reporting what’s going on. 

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