Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Bend Home Inventory UP

Went to Clive Holloways inventory counter, and noticed that since a Jan 5 low of 1,720 active listings on realtor.com for the Bend area, this number has slowly but surely climbed by 50 listings. This is a fairly small percentage increase, but many have been calling for inventory numbers to increase in the coming months, due to several factors.

The first and probably most important, are the huge number of Off-MLS builder listings, which are being withheld until other homes in builder neighborhoods are sold. They probably know full well that if every house on the street had a For Sale sign in front of it, they will have a much harder time selling, and it would significantly dilute their bargaining power with a blatant glut of property. Look for these properties to simply "fill in" as properties are sold, holding inventory steady.

Second, a large number of listings are simply being allowed to expire. Some were pie-in-the-sky sellers on a fishing expedition to see if someone would pay an outrageous premium to comps. This happened quite often successfully for many sellers in The Glory Years, and hence became a popular sideline with homeowners. But many listings were pulled with the hopes of cashing in during the seasonally strong Spring selling season. The problem is, EVERYONE is thinking this.

Third, plain economics are starting to reassert themselves. Unemployment has unexpectedly climbed for 2 months in a row in Deschutes, Crook, and Jefferson counties. And most of the job losses are in high paying "business and professional" jobs, and these constitute homeowners, not renters. We can only guess that many of these losses are Realtors, and RE-related, as total commission dollars have been cut in half in recent months.

And finally, our "feeder markets" have dried up. The RE Bubble cracked nationwide in 2005, and equity locusts from California have less and less $ to shovel into the Cent OR market.

I read on davidfoster.biz that December usually marks the low point for months of inventory and it starts to climb until the late Summer. Inventory simply climbs more than demand. Demand IS strong in the Spring. But everyone knows that, and lists their house. It looks like people have started to anticipate that, and are listing now. Or maybe listings are just climbing normally, and fewer people are buying. Whatever it is, after several months of falling inventory, and many in the RE business sounding the All Clear, we're starting to see inventory numbers slowly move up again.


Pets or Meat said...

More and More pets are missing in Bend.

As realtors and contractors go hungry, they're turning to bend pets.

Keep your dog/cat in at night.