• Michael Cunningham

Market Update:  Record Low Inventory

And we're not being hyperbolic. We haven't seen this before. This is amazing news for sellers! Take a look at the chart below:

This is looking back 17 years. You'll notice two spikes about 12 years ago. This was the national housing crisis or "bubble" where there were too many homes for the number of available (and qualified) buyers. As lenders became more relaxed and the economy continued to improve, more and more people entered the housing market.

That brings us to today. For reasons that are annual (it's winter and there's always a dip in inventory during these cold and rainy months) and not-so-annual, there just are not enough homes available. A balanced market is about 6 months of inventory, meaning if no new homes become available, the current pace of sales will exhaust inventory in 6 months. In this market, both the buyers and the sellers have equal negotiating strength.

More than 6 months and you enter a buyer's market, or conditions where buyers hold more control over negotiations than they normally would and could ask for things that might irk a seller, but a "bird in the hand" is worth more than "a bird that walks away from a contract to make an offer on countless other homes".

Searching for homes in all the (non-existent) places...

At least, I think that's how the metaphor goes.

The opposite side of this is where we are. Less than 6 months is a seller's market. The farther from 6 months you get, the more power the seller has.

Look where we are at the far right of the graph. In Wake, Durham, and Orange Counties we have less than a month of inventory and in Chatham is just over a month. Some popular neighborhoods is even less. For example, there are only .4 months - or 12 days - of resale inventory in Briar Chapel.

For sellers, this almost means you can name your price. For buyers, it could mean a couple of offers on several homes before you finally get that perfect place.

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