Not enough homes are placed on the market to adequately satisfy the throngs

 If you have been communicating or working with me this year, the words below (written by my partner, Steven) will match up with what we have been experiencing together.  Tomorrow I will touch more on active inventory, demand and the distressed market.

Active InventoryThe current inventory is simply unprecedented.

It is extremely difficult to articulate just how low the current active inventory is today.  3,482 homes on the market is absurd.  That’s correct, the inventory dropped below 3,500 homes after shedding an additional 52 homes in the past two weeks.  That’s only a 1% drop and the lowest drop since the beginning of August. This really could be the end of the unabated 18 month plunge in the active listing inventory.  There will eventually be an end to the drop and a new low will be established.  It almost seems impossible for the plummet to continue at this point.  It was surprising when it dropped below 4,912 homes in August, the prior record low level reached in early 2005.  Yet, it managed to drop by an additional 1,430 homes.  Last year at this time there were 8,905 homes on the market.  That’s 5,423 more than today.

REALTORS® from the trenches are reporting staggering open house attendance. They are getting as many as 75 buyers attending an open house in December. Remember, this is the Holiday Market, when buyers are typically diverting their attention away from their pursuit of their next home while they focus on Yule tide traditions.  Not this year.  Buyers are soaking up just about everything that is being placed on the market. 

 Even though we are in the midst of the holidays, multiple offers are still the norm, and so are offers above the list price.  Homes are truly appreciating based upon what buyers are willing to pay.  Many buyers put off purchasing a home earlier in the year anticipating now being a great time to buy.  That may be the case with a normal inventory, but the current inventory is far from normal.  Those buyers are waiting in line along with the multitude of buyers who have been unsuccessful in their pursuit thus far.

 Homes simply are not coming on the market this year compared to every other year in the past decade.  There are 16% more homes placed on the market in 2011 versus 2012.  In real terms, that’s 460 additional homes coming onto the Orange County housing market every single month.  Just prior to the housing turn, in 2005 there were 53% more homes placed on the market than today.  That’s 1,581 additional homes every single month. 

This chart illustrates just how anemic the inventory has been this year.I track demand based upon the number of new pending sales over the past month.  With the overwhelming number of buyers actively looking today but unable to purchase due to an unprecedented lack of inventory, true demand is much higher than what I am able to track through the Multiple Listing Service.  Quite simply, if a normal flow of homes were placed on the market, there would be a lot more pending sales each and every month this year. 

So, even though it is the Christmas Season, this is a great time to put your home on the market.  Your decorated and cozy home will attract buyers, and if marketed to its fullest extent will bring multiple offers and sales prices that will just make your year!

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