MB Market Update for 6/15/09

By Dave Fratello | June 19th, 2009
The new MB Market Update spreadsheets can be downloaded by clicking here or, at any time, by using the link in the upper-right corner of the front page.

We begin by noting that inventory of SFRs west of Sepulveda is down substantially from a month ago. By MBC's count:
In mid-May: 154

In mid-June: 138 (-16/-10%)
There are two major explanations for this dropoff.

First, sales have begun keeping pace with the rate of new listings coming on the market.

As our graph here shows (click to enlarge), April was perfectly balanced, while previous months were way, way out of whack – with far too much supply added amid very weak demand.

Those 21 sales in May were no huge feat, but they did make it the best month of the year so far.

The big reason for the inventory dropoff in recent weeks was a big rush of cancellations in the second part of May.

Let's look at the balance of new listings/sales (new escrows) balance for the past 3 updates, which each cover 2-week periods:
May 1-15: 18 new listings/11 sales

May 16-31: 8 new listings/10 sales

June 1-15: 15 new listings/14 sales
Without cancellations, those numbers would have resulted in a +4 bump up in inventory.

But there were 20 cancellations over this 6-week span, 16 of them in the second part of May. (A couple were just your blog author cleaning up inactive listings still on the spreadsheets.)

So there's no question, the sales pace has picked up recently, as you may have heard. May was the best so far, and June, with a start at 14 sales for the first half, shows promise to set a new high for the year.

And there's also no question that lots of would-be sellers are giving up. They don't want to wait forever to sell, and they don't want to (or cannot) sell at current market prices.

The short-term question: Can June keep it going, or are all the buyers headed out on vacation?


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