Spring/Summer Wrapup

Posted by Dave Fratello on Tuesday, September 9th, 2008 at 5:11am.

The real estate calendar tells us that the 6 months of Spring and Summer are behind us, and we're into Fall/Winter.

From March 1 to August 31, SFR inventory west of Sepulveda grew from 84 to a high of 116, and stood at 105 at the end of this period.

(Note: our chart covers all of 2008 and gives month-end figures, so "Dec." is Dec. 31, 2007, or essentially Jan. 1, 2008.)

At the same point last year – end of August 2007 – SFR inventory in our subject region stood at 83, according to MBC's public tracking at the time. So we were higher by 22 this year (+26% if you don't mind the small sample).

The very striking reality of recent months has been the high number of cancellations. (A category into which we group "expired," "withdrawn" and outright "canceled" listings – each has a different MLS code.)

In the Summer months alone (June-August), we saw 41 listings cancel. In the 3 months previous, only 21 canceled. In the June-August period in 2007, only 15 listings canceled, meaning this year's total was nearly triple the Summer 2007 pace. The month of August actually saw more listings cancel than it saw sellers making deals.

Those cancellations kept inventory relatively flat as Summer wound down.

Please download the MB Market Update Spreadsheets for 8/31/08 for more info.

June was the busiest month for new listings in 2008, with 40, just as June was the busiest for new listings in 2007, at 31.

Overall, in the Spring/Summer period, MBC tracked 172 new listings coming onto the market. (We began with inventory of 84 on the first day of March.)

Over the same period, we saw 159 listings leave the market – 97 sales (new escrows) and 62 cancellations.

By this reckoning, 38% of the listings that dropped off the MLS did so because they quit the market, while 62% of the listings that left the active market actually sold. Plenty, of course, have lingered.

We need to 'fess up to a bit of imprecision. When escrows fail or canceled listings return a couple weeks after they are first recorded, MBC's tracking numbers can, sometimes, be thrown off a bit. That's the risk of volunteer, real-time tracking, but we hope you like the price.

We think 4 listings or so have confounded our tracking slightly, so not all numbers add up perfectly to yield the Aug. 31 inventory number. Please consider our figures to have about a 2% margin of error – terrible for launching rockets, pretty good for real estate.
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