The number of listings on the market has dwindled to the lowest point since 2003; there are currently 15,000 properties for sale compared to 21,400 a year ago. That is a 28.7% decrease! However, this October there were 7.5% more homes listed than October 2011. Is this because of a foreclosure influx? No, in fact foreclosure and short sale listings declined (-7.5% and -31.6% respectively), while traditional listings increased by 25%.
So why are traditional sellers listing their homes at a greater rate? In my opinion, this increase in listings is an indicator that confidence is building for sellers and is a glimpse of what will be happening in the spring market. As home prices recover, confidence in the market will increase, this will result in more sellers entering the market. Furthermore, many “underwater” home owners are eagerly watching their values increase to the point that they are ready to sell That is great news for the vast number of buyers that are ready, willing and able to purchase, but can’t find the right home because listing inventory is so low. This could be the market shift sellers have been waiting for and should result in a more balanced market that has been slanted toward the buyer for years. With the elections behind us and employment making progress, we are optimistic heading into the winter months.