Does inventory seem tight?
Does it seem like all the good stuff sells quickly?
From the standpoint of a buyer who's searching, yes, it certainly does. And your blog author is more and more influenced by that perspective, representing clients who are looking.
But it's not just perception. Look at some data.
Take the biggest possible sample of MB real estate inventory as of Feb. 15, 2012.
There are 93
SFRs, THs and condos active on the market across all of MB. In some past years we've seen inventory of 100+ or so among just SFRs west of Sepulveda at an inventory peak.
But there are 70
SFRs, THs and condos now in escrow
93 to 70. Call that 1.3
:1 as an active to pending ratio. Quite nearly as many pending deals as active listings.
Consider Hermosa, where the ratio is 47 to 21. That's 2.23
How about PV? It's 245 to 123, basically 2
:1, twice as many actives as pending.
Torrance, maybe surprisingly, looks like MB: 206 to 157, or 1.3
Is this a perfect measure? Of course not.
But it's one way of expressing that feeling we are nursing: Doesn't it seem like there are a bunch of sales and little new inventory?
The terms "buyers' market" and "sellers' market" in RE are defined by closed sales in a given period against actives, not pending sales measured against active listings. So we can't use that terminology to describe what the data are suggesting here.
But do buyers these days feel stressed, or sellers? Right now we imagine the sellers as the happier bunch.