This Is Why Inventory Is Low

By Dave Fratello | October 17th, 2013

There are several reasons that have been put out there for our chronically low inventory this year.

But one is just as clear as day: Good properties priced well (for today) sell quickly.

Look no further back into history than last week's new listings.

500 14th (3br/3ba, 2500 sq. ft.) is a 1960s tri-level near downtown that's been refashioned with a modern flair.

It launched at $1.979M, quite a bit more than the $1.329M trade just a few years ago in 2009.

Can you really do just a little to freshen up a house and make $650K in 4 years?

The quick deal here suggests: Maybe yes.

1400 Elm (5br/4ba, 3200 sq. ft.) is a late-90s Mediterranean that's been modernized quite well in just the past couple of years.

This one last made a run on the market in late 2008, running 5 months with no takers at $1.949M.

Back now, with less inventory and a bullish attitude on seemingly everyone's part, asking $2.299M, boom! it's in escrow.

1131 6th (3br/2ba, 1400 sq. ft.) is a very original, smallish cottage with an added-on family room in back. It's got a full-size 7500 sq. ft. lot.

It needs everything. The yard is mostly dried up. The location is questionable, just a couple of doors off of Sepulveda.

It is, as they say, full of potential.

Did these issues pose problems? Not when they put the right pricetag on it: $1.149M. Quick deal.

2411 Vista (3br/4ba, 2500 sq. ft.) just sold last year, for $1.720M in June 2012, but the owners were looking to make a move, so they put it up for sale here about 15 months after moving in.

And they were looking for a nice bump, about $200K, to $1.925M.

Apparently that's the going rate for a stylish TH with limited ocean views. Because they've got their quick deal.

That's just this week's crop.

Also in recent weeks, Dave's listing at 3017 Elm drew multiple offers on an asking price of $925K and inked a deal at 5 DOM, while 3113 Maple (4br/4ba, 3000 sq. ft., $2.075M) drew offers and posted a deal before the first public open houses.

If listings don't last a week, we're not going to see any growth in inventory, obviously.

With a couple of days' worth of comings and goings, inventory remains at 45 SFRs & THs citywide, same as in our MB Market Update for 10/15/13.

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