Inventory Recedes a Bit

Posted by Dave Fratello on Monday, April 20th, 2009 at 4:11am.

Remember the quiet we were talking about last week? A near-blackout in new listings for early April?

That had an effect on overall inventory.

A little burst of sales and cancellations dropped SFR inventory west of Sepulveda for the first time in a 2-week period this year.

This is clear at the end of this graph (click to enlarge) and in the new MB Market Update Spreadsheets for 4/15/09 (download by clicking the link here, or at any time using the link in the upper-right corner of the front page).

The year 2009 began at 105 listings, we ended March at 155 SFRs, and the figure was down to 147 by mid-April. (At this writing, we're back to 151.)

The first part of April saw just 5 new listings, but 7 sales (new escrows) and 6 cancellations, for a total -8 hit on inventory.

(Side note: For those of you wondering how our little poll/contest regarding new listings last week wound up, we counted 7 new listings in the 7-day period Monday-Sunday, so the folks voting 5-8 new listings (29% of all) were right.)

So have we peaked for the year 2009?

Take a look at our chart above. Inventory began 2008 at 59 and climbed to 96 by the same point last year, growing at a steep clip before Spring became Summer.

However, that wasn't the end. Over the next 6 months, inventory grew by a net of 28 listings (+29%) to an Oct. 15 peak of 124.

Were we to see inventory of SFRs west of Hwy. 1 grow this year at the same pace, we'd be at a cool 200 by late September.

Of course, past results are no predictor of the future.

For now, we can say we've seen a little tapping on the brakes. Now here comes Summer, when everyone wants to be at the beach.
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