Low Inventory? Reality or Perception?

I keep hearing agents say we have low inventory. This is kind of funny, but I even had an agent accuse me of not knowing we were in a shortage of listings. LOL!

That got me thinking……are we really experiencing low inventory?

I did some research. Since we are only half way through March, I compared January and February from 2011,2012, 2013 and 2014. 2011 new listings in Fayette Co were 1184. 2012 saw 1144, 2013 saw 1184 and 2014 had 945. So, we are down a little this year probably due to weather, but sales are down too since buyers haven’t wanted to go out much. A shortage means an imbalance. If supply AND demand go down equally, then that isn’t a shortage.

But I don’t think that is really what people mean when they say “Low Inventory.” When I go to look for houses for my buyers, I always have plenty to show them. The problem is there is nothing that really stands out. There are a bunch of ho-hum, run of the mill houses for sale, and everybody wants something better. That is why an updated house will sell so quickly right now. I just got multiple offers on a house the first day on the market. There are 13 other active listings in the same price range in the same neighborhood with an average of 111 days on market. Mine was move in ready, the others must not be?

Which leads me to something else I have been thinking about lately. Since the economy had been so bad for so many years, many homeowners didn’t have the funds to do much to their houses. I think that is why we are seeing so many of the ho-hum listings that just are hard to fall in love with.

I think it will take a few years until we start seeing more updated houses come on the market. Until then, here is what to do depending on who you are:

Sellers-I’ve blogged about cheap ways to make your house appealing to buyers. There are often minor changes that can be done that have a lot of impact. If you already have a really nice house, plan on selling it before the next weekend passes.

Buyer-If there is a house you saw online and really liked, drop everything and go see it immediately. Chances are every other buyer in your price range likes it just as much. Don’t need that totally updated move in ready house that looks like The Property Brothers just got done with it? Then you don’t have to be in such a hurry.

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