Lack of Inventory, a Problem for Agents Looking for Open Houses.

As an individual agent, my personal business does not provide enough statistical data to draw relevant market conclusions. For valid market data I rely upon the Multiple Listing Service. But what experiences I do have, becomes anecdotal evidence. I can then follow up on these anecdotal stories to see if my personal observations are market wide.

Right now I have several listings. Currently I get more calls from agents looking to hold open my listings than I get from agents double checking availability. These agents want to hold open my listing to get buyers. There is no problem with this.

However, why so many calls, at least one or two per day. And what conclusions should I draw. After rejecting the thought that it is because I am a nice guy, have well prepared and presented homes and these agents just really want to help me out. The only valid conclusion is that there just aren’t a lot of listings available. It is no secret open houses help agents market themselves, and help agents acquire buyer leads.

The real take away is that inventory is VERY LOW. In the early 1990’s during the last downturn, there were 5 homes for sale on every street. Back then, as a listing agent you were very grateful for a buyers agent to hold open your listing. Today it is the opposite. I just checked the MLS for Active (currently for sale) single family residential listings. There are only 408 homes for sale in all of Long Beach. In comparison about 200 homes sell per month city wide. So in Long Beach there is only a 2 month supply of homes for sale. In some neighborhoods inventory is even be lower with less than a 1 month supply of homes.

This is Nothing! It has resulted in prices being a little higher this year than last fall. Is it a result of lower interest rates? Certainly this has helped get people off the dime. Might demand slow down? Certainly this could happen. Where is the shadow inventory? You know that 10 month supply of homes, ready to be foreclosed upon, that is supposed to be hitting the market at anytime. I don’t know, but we sure could use some more inventory.