High Demand, Low Inventory Kick Off the New Year in San Carlos.

January 5, 2010

What a difference a year makes.

If you were to take a snapshot real estate market in San Carlos at this time in January 2009 and compare it to right now, you wouldn't believe you were talking about the same month.    One year ago, we came out of the holidays in a serious funk.   After witnessing a precipitous drop in the stock market and the utter collapse of the credit market, buyers were in no mood to buy homes.  Open houses were sparsely attended, and buyer activity was virtually nonexistent.

And it showed in the numbers, too.   In January of 2009, the inventory of homes for sale in San Carlos swelled to 71!  But when you look at the number of homes that closed escrow in January '09 (5) and  February '09 (11), it's evident that not many of these 71 homes found new buyers.   As I discussed in a recent podcast, it wasn't until April-May of 2009 that the real estate market in San Carlos finally found its footing.

A different kind of January.

Fast forward to today, and it's a night-and-day difference.    There are currently only 26 listings in all of San Carlos, and buyers are flocking to open houses in droves — regardless of the price range.  A colleague of mine who hosted one of the few open houses in San Carlos this past weekend basically reported that it was a 4-hour stampede through his open house (and this was a home that was already on the market last year!)   It seems that the heated conditions in December '09 that sparked so many multiple offers will likely carry right over into this month.   But there's a key ingredient missing….

High Demand, Low Inventory means?

At the risk of beating a dead horse, not much is going to happen in this market without an infusion of new inventory — regardless of how hot the buying environment seems.   The average days on the market (DOM) for the 26 active San Carlos listings is now at 137 days…or 4.5 months.   That simply means that buyers have seen what's available on the market, and they've voted with their feet — they want something new.

What does this mean for sellers?  If you're thinking about selling your home, you probably couldn't craft a much more favorable environment that what you have right now…low rates, low inventory, high demand.   If you were waiting for your invitation to the party, you just got it…

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