Friday, October 6, 2023

Quietly and Slowly Inventory Is Creeping Up

The September 2023 MLS report is out and it shows what we all feel. A shrinking market with stable pricing. Interest rates have chased away a large portion of buyers and they have also led to a large portion of potential sellers to stay put. We have a shrinking inventory and a shrinking pool of buyers. In the traditional economic terms of supply and demand both are shrinking and so we are basically treading water. But rates have pushed up high enough locally that now the ecumenic thumb is on the demand side of the scale.

Despite sellers general unwillingness to depart from their sub 4% interest rate, some still have to sell. Retirement, moving for job, estate sales, divorce, etc. Now these listings are starting to outpace sales and inventory in September reached the highest point in nearly five years. Don't get too excited, though it stands at two and a half months which is still comfortably in the sellers advantage when looking at traditional neutral markets with four to six months of inventory. 

The meat of our local market in Clark County remains the $400-$700k price range where nearly two thirds of last month's transactions fell. A little less than 10% of transactions were above $1 million. Overall closed sales are running at about half what they were 12-18 months ago and one would think that type of slowdown would lead to crashing prices. But those were the days of ten offers in ten minutes. Now we have a market that is settling in to a nice 15-30 day marketing time and less of those multiple offer scenarios. The market is healthier now. We still have fewer houses than buyers so sellers retain a small advantage in this market. But sellers that insist on listing at above market value are finding stiff resistance from buyers. I suspect we will slowly slip into neutral conditions and if the boneheads at the Fed stop raising rates, we may escape this without a severe market correction. 

It remains for now that our local market is slow and steady, but most importantly, stable.

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