How’s the Market?

I get asked this question on an almost daily basis. As in how is the Real Estate Market. I know that I feel busy. But being a data geek, I always have to cross-check my "feelings" with actual information from MLS. Keep in mind that what is sold in MLS represents many, but not all homes sold. It’s just the best global yardstick we have to measure with.

But how do we determine what the sold data means? (a Real Estate blog) says this:
Months of inventory are often referenced when determining whether it’s a seller’s market or a buyer’s market:

  • If there are 0-4 months of inventory, meaning that all current listings can expect to be sold within 4 months, it is considered a seller’s market because houses are selling very quickly. In a seller’s market, sellers have the advantage because demand for property exceeds supply.
  • If there are 5-8 months of inventory, it is considered a balanced market. Current listings aren’t selling like hotcakes, but they’re not staying on the market too long either.
  • If there are 9 or more months of inventory, it is considered a buyer’s market because houses are selling slowly. In a buyer’s market, buyers have more negotiating power than sellers do because the supply of listings exceeds the current demand for housing.

These timelines are approximate, but it is generally accepted than fewer than 6 months of inventory reflects good conditions for sellers whereas greater than 6 months of inventory represents optimum conditions for buyers.

Ok…so what does my immediate market area look like? Well for Oak Cliff (north of Clarendon St), there is less than 4 months supply of homes across all price points and types. Including condos and townhomes. I even went so far as to break it down by price ranges. To my shock some ranges have less than one month’s supply. Here’s the data:

price range sold* active supply
all resid. 124 53 2.56
<$100k 10 1 0.60
$100-200 31 5 0.97
$200-300 20 9 2.70
$300-400 17 8 2.82
$400-500 14 10 4.29
$500-700 14 5 2.14
>$700k 10 1 0.60

*sold in the last six months

What does this all mean? Well to me, it explains why it feels busy. My seller clients are getting multiple offers on their homes. My buyer clients are running around trying to see properties the moment they come on market. One tough reality of this is that more homes could be sold if there were more available. In fact, NAR wrote a recent report stating that homes sales went DOWN in January specifically because of the lack of inventory.

If you’re thinking of a move, now could be an ideal time to sell. Your home is at a premium. And if you’re interested in this type of information for your specific neighborhood, let me know. We data geeks love this stuff!