2013 Sales Totals Flat So Far

By Dave Fratello | May 6th, 2013

Blame low inventory.

The one and only measure by which MB is not off to a gangbusters start this year is: The number of closed sales.

Not enough product, not enough sales. Evidence suggests MB is not lacking for demand at all.

To see some context, we looked back 10 years at the number of SFR sales in the first third of each year.

With 96 sales closing between Jan. 1-April 30 this year, we're slightly trailing the pace of 2012, and only barely above 2011. Really, the last 3 years look the same.

This year blows away the two popped-bubble years, 2008 and 2009, and is somewhat better than 2010.

But as bubbly as this year feels, it can't hold a candle to the 4 bubble years captured in our chart here. From 2004-2007, there were well over 100 sales each year in this same period – more than 140 in both 2004 and 2007.

Spring 2007 was a wobbly market, and not everyone was sure the bubble was popping at the time. You can see how the market was sending mixed signals then, with plenty of sales volume despite the weird buzz in the air at the time.

Prices are rising these days, no doubt. But sales are not, yet, while we wait for more supply to meet the eager demand we know is out there.

An interesting, additional point of reference for the imbalance between supply and demand: At this writing, Monday afternoon, we have 47 active listings (SFRs and THs) and 77 properties in escrow.

Last year, in late May, we mentioned the active/pending balance. Then, active inventory was 87 and pending sales totaled 79. (See "Pre-Summer Inventory Check-In.")

It's funny: To have 87 actives now would nearly double current inventory, but pending sales year over year would be flat, just like we see with closed sales now.

As we said, blame low inventory this year.

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