Low inventory versus sellers market

kaismomApril 6, 2012


There was a posting about low inventory a while back. This is an interesting story. I still content that this is NOT A SELLERS' MARKET because many wanna-be-sellers still cannot sell at the going price because they are under water. If you can't 'sell' and 'have to continue' making the mortgage so you don't ruin your credit or have to sell at a loss, that does not seem much like a seller's market to me. Yes, you maybe able to sell, which is better than not selling at all. So it becomes the question of how much money are you losing, a little versus a lot.

But, different people have different opinions. Many think that this is a sellers' market.

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I am in one of the areas near the top of the list. It is definitely a different market than what I expected. As a buyer, I am now prepared to be in bidding wars and to pay more than asking price. I see good houses selling within days of being listed. I know that when I see a house I really like I must put in a very good offer very quickly if I expect to get it.

I don't think it is a seller's market, even though it has some of the hallmarks of one. What I think is that this is a market that has hit bottom - at least in my area. My area had a smaller number of foreclosures than many, so I do not think there is a huge wave of those coming to change the local market significantly.

My impression is that there is a light at the end of the economic tunnel. Major employers in my area are hiring and giving substantial pay raises. A lot of people are feeling more secure in my area and that is driving people to buy. It is still more challenging to get a mortgage than it was ten years ago, but there is money to be had if you have your financial house in very good order.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2012 at 1:38PM
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Notice they say demand is up 8.8% year over year, but prices are up only .3%. That to me says that buyers have stopped sitting on the sidelines and are venturing in, and sellers have come to terms with their lower values and are willing to sell at the new market price.

Neither of those makes a seller's market, in my book. But I think that both of the above trends (willing buyers, willing sellers) is a good sign. If transactions are happening, that provides liquidity to the market.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2012 at 1:42PM
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2011 saw low inventory because of the gov lawsuits against banks for foreclosure practices. Foreclosures got backlogged while this was happening, plus many people cannot sell due to being upside-down on their mortgages, and others were just plain wary of putting a home on the market (and where are they gonna go after they sell?).

Now in 2012, the gov robo-signing, etc. lawsuits have been largely settled, though there is still random sniping about some foreclosure practices. Anyway, the foreclosure inventory plus "shadow" inventory of homes in default but not yet foreclosed on is anywhere from 6 to 12 million depending on who's counting!

Word in the real estate blogosphere is that banks will start to unload foreclosures again in earnest this summer, as well as approve more short sales.

Your area may vary, but the bottom hasn't been reached in most markets. So, no, it is not a seller's market except that the low inventory of 2011 got some folks excited enough to start bidding wars and other irrational behavior again. And there was and may still be pent-up demand. Even with everything that's gone down, people still want to own a home.

I hear Phoenix has reached "bottom" but I don't know what that means if there are a lot more foreclosures coming down.

Maybe investors are going insane snatching up low-end stuff in Phoenix, Vegas and Miami but how much is investor exuberance going to absorb?

Banks and the Fed are leading this dance of trickling the foreclosures and short sales out - no choice I guess since if they dumped all that distressed inventory on the market at once we would have a huge Depression.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2012 at 5:39PM
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I know that in my area, the houses in a certain area are hard to come by if you want a good house . It seems the ones sitting are the ones with obvious flaws. However , out further from the city, the houses sit a lot longer still. The market for newer homes seems to have decreased.

If the offer on our house goes through, I may have a very hard time finding the house that I want.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2012 at 1:54AM
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I am in escrow right now. As I expected I am paying just above asking for the house. The house was on the market for less than a week and had four offers. Per my realtor's recommendation I used an escalating clause in my offer.

However, the price was very good. It was under my budget (which is below my means) and it is in a neighborhood of houses that are priced higher than what I am paying. I am buying a house to live in until they cart me off to the cemetery or old folk's home, so even if it is not the market bottom it was the right time for me to buy.

Some may call my decision to pay over asking irrational, but given the realities of my local market right now, it was necessary if I wanted to have a house to move into this summer

    Bookmark   April 27, 2012 at 12:11PM
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I'm getting frustrated at the low inventory in our neighbourhood. Places that are priced nicely and in good shape go very quickly (but no evidence of bidding wars). So it is a bit of a seller's market if you can price it realistically. Many people are reluctant to put their places on the market due to the low prices compared to pre-collapse (or they are under water). Some put theirs on the market at pre-collapse prices, and those sit for a long time.
Wondering if the inventory will increase in the next few weeks.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2012 at 1:34PM
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Our son is looking in the NYC area, and there isn't much available where he would like to buy. Certainly in highly populated areas, there aren't many good choices on the market.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2012 at 8:15PM
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I'm seeing the same thing as Turtle in the market we're shopping. It's as if there are two markets -- a realistically priced for today's market and another inventory of listings at yesterday's prices. Realistically priced properties are moving nicely, but those aren't are languishing, some for years.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2012 at 11:06PM
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