Here is an indicator to measure how the market gets started in 2013 – count the new listings.

We have seen how the inventory impacts the buyer mentality.  When homes-for-sale are plentiful, buyers are more relaxed and deliberate.  When there is a shortage of inventory, the anxiety heightens, and bidding wars ensue.

The first quarter of 2012 looked like the previous two years.  But you can see below how the new listings dropped starting in April, and probably contributed to sales jumping in August as nervous buyers scrambled.

Fewer new listings in April-to-July = stronger sales in August-to-October:

NSDCC Detached-Home Monthly Sales Counts:

The shortage of new listings look like they could have been a temporary event – because since August the number of new listings have been fairly similar to previous years.  It should be irresistible for potential sellers to flood the market with OPTs in 1Q13.  If they do, buyers will grow cautious, and sales could hit the skids.

We’ll know what to expect just by counting the new listings.  The January & February 2012 two-month total was 794 houses listed, when in the previous two years it was around 900, only a 12% dip approximately.  But the 2012 April-to-July new listings were about 18% lower than the previous year – that’s when we’ll see how 2013 will turn out!

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