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Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Some more comments on Housing Inventory

by Calculated Risk on 3/06/2012 10:12:00 PM

Jon Lansner at the O.C. Register has some comments from Orange County broker Steve Thomas on inventory: Fewest O.C. homes for sale since 2005

"Turn back the clocks to August 2005 to find a lower inventory. At the very beginning of the year, the active listing inventory stood at 8,114 homes. It was a good beginning compared to 2011 with nearly 1,900 fewer listings on the market. There was a subtle sense that something was different right after bringing in the New Year. Since then, the market has shed 925 homes and now stands at 7,189, 33% fewer than last year. To shed homes during this time of year is totally unprecedented during this downturn. It is much more of what we would see during a hot, appreciating market, reminiscent of 2004 and 2005. ATTENTION SELLERS: that does NOT mean that we are looking at 2004 and 2005 all over again. Let’s be perfectly clear, there is still an enormous back log of distressed homes that have not yet hit the market."
The sharp decline in inventory is happening just about everywhere. Some of this is because there are fewer foreclosures listed for sale, and some is probably because many potential sellers are "waiting for a better market".

Last month I posted a few reasons for the decline: Comments on Existing Home Inventory. I concluded: "The bottom line is the decline in listed inventory is a big deal, and will lead to less downward pressure on prices. Just like last year, inventory will be something to watch closely all year."