As 2011 is wrapping up, here’s how the NSDCC detached sales and average cost-per-sf compares with previous years (I added a zero to the $/sf numbers):

We have seen that the size of the inventory has some sort of impact on the market.  When the market is loaded with over-priced turkeys (OPTs), buyers gain confidence about staying on the fence.  When it grows thin, the buyers get antsy and jump sooner…and some at prices a little higher than they want.

The size of inventory is fluid, and day-to-day.  But for our purposes, we can see an overall effect below by comparing annual sales to total listings taken each year:

NSDCC Det. Annual Sales Total Listings AS/TL
1999
3,236
5,338
61%
2000
3,285
4,986
66%
2001
2,926
5,842
50%
2002
3,717
5,948
62%
2003
3,932
5,178
76%
2004
3,363
5,162
65%
2005
3,014
5,533
54%
2006
2,626
6,046
43%
2007
2,479
5,406
46%
2008
2,037
5,289
39%
2009
2,223
5,047
44%
2010
2,460
5,258
47%
2011
2,518
4,986
51%

By dividing sales by listings, we have the efficiency ratio, and when it’s around 60% the market seems to be somewhat balanced. You can see that in 2001 that we lost about a month’s worth of sales due to 9/11, and that in 2003 the market was in full-tilt-frenzy mode.

Today’s low rates and below-peak pricing, combined with the tight inventories, are helping to improve the efficiency rate.

The average days-on-market hasn’t been this high around NSDCC in a decade, which generally means that the sellers’ motivation is dreadfully low.  The banks aren’t pushing people to short-sell or foreclose unless their delinquency is extremely high, and elective sellers are willing to wait for the lucky sale.

These market conditions do help put a brighter spotlight on the few well-priced listings, and as a result, we have vicious bidding wars and shenanigans to contend with, in the fight to win one.

The thin inventory and lower seller motivation is a tough combination for buyers – get good help! 

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Jim the Realtor
Jim is a long-time local realtor who comments daily here on his blog, bubbleinfo.com which began in September, 2005. Stick around!

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