Bare Shelves for Holiday Home Shoppers in San Carlos.

December 16, 2011

Where's the Inventory?

You've probably heard the conventional wisdom that while there are fewer buyers that look for homes in the month of December, those buyers are the “serious” ones.  While that logic may ring true, even the most serious of buyers are having a hard time staying on task during this holiday season because of the challenging quantity and quality of the home inventory in San Carlos.   After a steady stream of listings that have expired or those that have been pulled off the market for the holidays, there are now only 32 homes for sale in all of San Carlos.

That number in itself is low even by December standards.  But digging deeper into the current inventory paints a different picture of what you would expect find this time of year.  Consider the following:

  • Of the 32 single-family homes that are currently for sale, 10 of them (or over 31%) are “distressed” properties — meaning they're either short sales or bank-owned (REO) properties.  This is a marked increase over the typical 7-10% of distressed properties that you'd see in a normal month in San Carlos.
  • The average days on market (DOM) of those 32 homes is a whopping 106 days.   And this number would be effectively higher if you consider that some of the homes that recently came on the market as REO listings were recently on the market for an extended period of time before they were foreclosed.  That means  there's virtually nothing different to see than what was on the market 3 months ago.

The January Market

The good news here is that you can expect a surge in the San Carlos inventory when January rolls around.   However, it's important to note that not all of the “new” listings that you'll see in January will truly be new.    Most, if not all, of the expired and withdrawn listings in November and December will resurface at some point in the new year — with a new price and DOM count, and sometimes under a different brokerage.    It's important to be able to differentiate the new from the not-so-new in order to make smart home buying decisions.  But with historical home sales data right at your (or your agent's) fingertips, it's easier than ever to extract that critical data.

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