LAYING DOWN THE LAW – DID THE OVERALL INCREASE IN HOME INVENTORY REALLY MEAN MORE NEW LISTINGS?
January 2, 2020
Christopher J. Charles
Attorney, Provident Law
Between September 2018 and February 2019, we saw a moderate gain in home inventory prior to home shopping season, following a solid 44 months of consecutive inventory decreases. Some speculated that this perhaps meant that the number of people choosing to list their homes had at last begun to rise.
Unfortunately, this was not apparently a result of new listings going on the market—which would have indicated new sellers. Rather, the key metric at that time was that buyer demand had begun to fall off a bit due to a sustained period of rapid price growth, which resulted in a mild case of “buyer burnout” leaving housing listings on the market longer. An effect of this was a slight softening in the rise of housing prices.
Yet when home shopping season started in April there were 8.4 percent fewer new listings on the market than the previous April; and by May the available inventory had shrunk even further to 10.6 percent fewer than the same month a year earlier.
But according to a recent Zillow report, the number of new listings going to market has since slowed further, even as buyer demand began again to increase both during and independent of the traditional home shopping season. Through September 2019, the inventory of homes for sale continued to fall. Compared to the same time last year, there has been a drop of over 102,000 homes available nationwide—a 6.4 percent year-over-year decrease overall, which puts home inventory at its lowest level since 2013.
Meanwhile, the rate of quarterly growth has in recent days begun again to accelerate—another indicator that the cooling-off period of demand (and that case of “buyer burnout” mentioned above) has begun to ease.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the median worth of a home in the US has grown by about 4.8 percent since this time last year, sitting at around $231,000. For the Phoenix area, that translates to a median home value of more than $271,000. That’s a 5 percent change year-over-year. Meanwhile, our inventory has fallen by 15.2 percent during that time—with an 18 percent decrease in low-tier (“starter”) housing inventory.
If you or anyone have questions about buying or selling real property, contact Mr. Charles At Provident Law. Our real estate attorneys represent parties on either side of real estate and financing transactions, including buyers, sellers, landlords, tenants, lenders, borrowers, trustees, guarantors, shareholders, partners, and others. We advise, structure, negotiate, and document a variety of real estate and financing transactions, including leases, purchase and sale agreements, financing agreements, and development agreements for a variety of commercial and residential projects. Contact us if you’d like us to give you a hand.
Christopher J. Charles is the founder and Managing Partner of Provident Law®. He is a State Bar Certified Real Estate Specialist and a former “Broker Hotline Attorney” for the Arizona Association of REALTORS® (the “AAR”). Mr. Charles holds the AV® Preeminent Rating by the Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings system which connotes the highest possible rating in both legal ability and ethical standards. He serves as an Arbitrator and Mediator for the AAR regarding real estate disputes; and he served on the State Bar of Arizona’s Civil Jury Instructions Committee where he helped draft the Agency Instructions and the Residential Landlord/Tenant Eviction Jury Instructions.
Christopher is a licensed Real Estate Instructor and he teaches continuing education classes at the Arizona School of Real Estate and Business. He can be reached at Chris@ ProvidentLawyers.com or at 480-388-3343.