A Telltale Month.
To the casual observer watching the San Carlos real estate market, it must seem as if there are virtually no listings hitting the market at all so far in 2015. This is a very understandable perception, because with the pace of sales in today’s hyper-competitive San Carlos real estate market, it’s hard to build up any kind of inventory when everything seems to be selling in a week or less.
January is typically one of the slower months in real estate for closed sales since it largely reflects sales that were made in December, which is tradtionally one of the slowest months of the year for getting homes into contract. But we tend to look at January as a bellwether month for how many new listings we can expect to see in a given year. If January starts fast out of the chute, history shows that it will be a robust year, and vice versa.
The two charts below show a pretty clear connection between January’s performance, and what you can reasonably expect for the year ahead. The first chart shows the number of new listings in the month of January over the past 8 years:
… and the second chart shows the number of new single-family home listings recorded annually over the past 8 years, 2015 obviously just being a year-to-date figure.
The two charts track each other very closely. For example, in 2012, January yielded the lowest number of new listings over any January in the previous 7 years, and consequently went on to record the fewest number of listings for the year over that same period. In stark comparison, 2011 had the second biggest January listings month and went on to record the second highest number of listings. The only notable exception was 2009, which was on the heels of the credit crash and the beginning of the recession.
Off to a Good Start in 2015?
If you subscribe to the analysis above, then the 23 new listings that registered on the MLS in January of this year suggests that we will see a nice bump up in the number of new listings to choose from in 2015. Is that a guarantee? Of course not — just as the monsoon rains we experienced a few weeks ago did not mark the end of the drought (we have been completely dry ever since). But we’re off to a relatively strong start so far in 2015, and having more listings on the market will provide a little more balance that this real estate market desperately needs.
We will keep an eye on this trend, and perhaps post another update at the end of this month…
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