MB Market Update for 2/28/09

Posted by Dave Fratello on Wednesday, March 4th, 2009 at 9:06pm.

The new MB Market Update spreadsheets for the month of February are available, and can be downloaded by clicking here, or any time by using the link in the upper-right corner of the front page.

Normally MBC publishes spreadsheets twice monthly, but in this case we're covering a whole month. One reason: Inventory. It's up, up, up. So now it's roughly twice as much work to keep tabs on the local market as it was just last year.

SFR inventory west of Sepulveda stood at 145 on Feb. 28, another new record since MBC's inception about 2 years ago. (It was at 84 last year at this time.) The breakdown by sub-region:
Hill: 33
Sand: 58
Trees: 54
Inventory was +23 over the figure at the end of January. We speculated in our end-of-January update that if growth in inventory in 2009 matched the pace of 2008, we'd reach 190 SFRs by the end of April. We're almost precisely on that pace right now.

Rarely have we seen Sand Section SFR inventory exceed Tree Section inventory. (Include THs and it's always higher.) At the end of October, the Sand was +1 over the Trees, but the gap here is more substantial at +4. The Sand stands at more than double the inventory (26) seen one year ago, at the end of February 2008.

Where is all that inventory coming from? MBC readers may view this is a very difficult time to sell a house – an opinion lots of RE pros would share – but there are plenty of sellers diving in nonetheless.

There were 42 new listings put on the market in February. We're not sitting on the full year stats for 2008, but we do note that, in late March 2008, MBC declared 34 new listings in that month to be the highest total we had recorded. If 42 is not the record over the past 2 years, it's in the top 2 or 3 months.

There's some good news. The number of sales (new escrows) beginning – and sticking – in February was 14, not bad for what we've seen recently. (One that went in and dropped out was 2909 Elm, whose deal had been celebrated by MBC a few days before.)

There were 15 sales (new escrows) in November and December 2008 combined. In fact, this February's total matches the number of sales in Feb. 2008. So things looked a little more "normal." A little.
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