September Inventory

Submitted by Rich Toscano on October 3, 2006 - 8:36pm

It definitely appears that inventory has peaked for the year:

Even Craneville looks like it's leveling out:

As I indicated last month, the apparent August peak is premature compared to the two prior years, which each peaked in October. I think sellers are simply giving up on 2006 and hoping for a better market next year.

For those interested, my latest article goes into a little (and I do mean a very little) more detail on this idea.

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Submitted by powayseller on October 3, 2006 - 10:18pm.

Inventory always dips in the fall. So do sales.

Submitted by sdrealtor on October 3, 2006 - 11:41pm.

Nice Job Rich,
Inventory rose about 20% between August and October in 2004 and 2005. This appears to be a significant change in the market dynamics which bears following.

Submitted by sdrealtor on October 3, 2006 - 11:42pm.


Submitted by sdrealtor on October 3, 2006 - 11:42pm.


Submitted by msaroff on October 4, 2006 - 5:44am.

How much of this is people trying to sell on their own, to eliminate the realtor commission from their real of perceived losses?

Submitted by powayseller on October 4, 2006 - 8:50am.

Inventory is cyclical. Inventory peaks in spring and summer, as most people who sell and buy are out doing so. Fewer people sell and buy in the fall and winter, so both inventory and sales decrease. It's hard to draw any conclusions from this; I prefer year over year percent change in evaluating cyclical trends.

Submitted by sdduuuude on October 4, 2006 - 9:51am.

It's me - as usual, requesting more graphs.

It would be interesting to see months of inventory plotted over the same period. When inventory and sales are both falling, one can tell better infer the condition by looking at inventory/sales.

Submitted by sdduuuude on October 4, 2006 - 9:53am.

It looks like the last two years peaked in Oct or Nov and this year was in July/August. Not sure what it means, but it is different.

Submitted by powayseller on October 4, 2006 - 10:05am.

sduuude, you are exactly right! But the data must not be available, or Rich would have plotted inventory further back. I just read his Voice article, and I agree with him, that the earlier leveling off in inventory this year, as noted by sduuude, is due to people throwing in the towel.

Next year, when ARMs reset, sellers won't have that luxury! I hypothesize that next year, fall inventory will not fall, but rise. Please file this prediction in your "powayseller archives", LOL.

Submitted by sdrealtor on October 4, 2006 - 10:10am.

I believe that it means alot of folks put their homes on the market this year sensing we peaked in prices. They were willing to sell only if they could get a peak price. If not, they will stay put. This along with builders putting substantial inventory into the MLS for the first time in over a decade explains an artificially high inventory in the MLS this Summer. This does not mean we wont see higher inventory next year due to payment shock from ARM's. But the inventory is a bit inflated right now with truly unmotivated sellers.

Submitted by renterclint on October 4, 2006 - 10:27am.

We all get that this is cyclical, but Rich throws out a thought that would-be-sellers may be giving up on 2006 with plans of re-listing in '07.

Maybe this slightly early peak in inventory alludes to the next phase in this weird market. The phase in which homeowners start to sit on their homes and refuse to reduce their asking prices any further.

Without the unemployment that we suffered during the last down-turn in the 90's, there may be little to force these would-be sellers to come back down to Earth in asking-price. I am anxious to see the impact of the widely-anticipated ARM resets. How many of these ARM borrowers will be able to just re-finance into another teaser-rate ARM, and how many can afford to jump into a 30-yr fixed at 6.5%?

On another note, if we have gotten to the point where sellers simply won't reduce prices further & choose to wait it out, many of these homes will becomes rentals. I would expect that this increase in rental property would push rents down, but rents actually seem to be going up everywhere.

Submitted by powayseller on October 4, 2006 - 10:38am.

Agreed, renterclint. All very good points. I'll be doing some interviews to get to the bottom of the effect of the new lending guidelines and the refinancing, and it will all be on my website.

Submitted by renterclint on October 4, 2006 - 10:53am.

That sounds great, Powayseller. I do not recall seeing your web-address in the past. Would you mind listing it again?


Submitted by powayseller on October 4, 2006 - 11:11am.

My website is under development, and I will post it when done (supposed to be mid-October).

Submitted by PerryChase on October 4, 2006 - 11:26am.

powayseller, i'm really looking forward to reading your website. Please let us know when it's ready.

Submitted by sdduuuude on October 4, 2006 - 12:52pm.

Thanks, sdr. I get it.

Just another bit of evidence showing this is a slow moving beast. Yes, we all see it coming, but the planets still haven't aligned yet to make it really sink.

Submitted by greekfire on October 4, 2006 - 2:07pm.

I recall seeing housing inventory as high as 23,000-24,000 on ZipRealty a couple months ago. I am sure there is a plausible explanation for this.

Submitted by an on October 4, 2006 - 2:19pm.

Just like everything else, you do not need all the sellers to be desperate to drive down price. All you need is more desperate sellers than buyers. So, we'll see if ARM adjustment will yield that number or not. Last time, lost of job yield those numbers, hence the drop in price.

Submitted by powayseller on October 4, 2006 - 5:21pm.

Asianautica, I see your point. Quality of inventory matters too.

Submitted by PerryChase on October 4, 2006 - 7:27pm.

You have a good point, asianautica. It only takes a few sales to create new comps.

Here is my prediction of the future of the real estate market using the 5 stages of grief.

1. Denial. Now.

2. Anger. Late Summer 2007 after houses don't sell in the Spring or Summer.

3. Bargaining. Spring of 2008. People will become motivated to sell at lower prices.

4. Depression. Late Summer 2008. After houses still don't sell in the Spring of Summer of 2008.

5. Acceptance. Spring 2009. That'll be the beginning acceptance as the airwaves will be full of stories on the RE crash. Sellers will only then price their houses realistically.

Submitted by rockclimber on October 5, 2006 - 11:04am.

I really like this, "Stages of Grief" analysis. It seems fitting since the drivers of bubble markets are dominated by psychological phenomenon. Personally, I think people are moving into the anger stage right now. Denial happened all this summer.

For those of us on the sidelines, it sure would be nice to move people through the grieving process a little faster... perhaps we could start self help groups and 10 step programs in our communities.

I can just picture it, "Hi, I'm Bob. I’m underwater on an $800k neg-am adjustable due to reset next month.” “Hi, Bob!” The group replies. “Hello, Bobby. I’m Powayseller. I’m the Poway group moderator…. Have you dealt with your feelings toward the seller, agent, appraiser, lender, and all those smirking students of Professor Piggington?”

Submitted by powayseller on October 5, 2006 - 12:05pm.

Could we have a self-help group for powayseller bashers? hahahaha

Hey, I have a friend w/ a strong entrepreneurial spirit, who told me to start real estate seminars: "Don't Buy Now! My seminar will teach you how to avoid millions of dollars in loss in real estate", $250, 9-5, lunch included (some sandwiches). I'm not going to do it, but somebody else on this board could! My friend says people love seminars, and they will come by the droves. If the market turns up instead, they will come by the droves to hunt me down, hahaha.

Submitted by rockclimber on October 5, 2006 - 12:38pm.

PS, no bash intended. Just lousy humor.

Submitted by powayseller on October 5, 2006 - 12:44pm.

rockclimber, I was referring to some past posts, not to you. It was a joke, anyway.

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