Serious Inventory Reduction

Here’s a trivia question for you: At what point were more homes on the Denver and surrounding suburbs market than any other time in recent history? I’ll let you know the answer in a minute, but I’m asking this question to prove a point, and that point is that too many people get too caught up following media reports and don’t investigate truths for themselves.

I posed this same question to a number of consumers that were considering buying a house this year. Their answers shocked me. Most thought home inventory was at its highest this past year of 2008 or the end of 2007. When I asked them why they thought this, all said that media reports concerning housing had been so negative during that time frame that they believed there were more houses on the market than ever before. I then asked them this question: How was the housing market in 2006? Their answer: Everyone thought the housing market was robust and healthy in 2006.

Surprise, surprise! The answer to our first question about when housing inventory was highest is July 2006. That’s when Denver and its surrounding suburbs had the highest amount of single-family homes and condos for sale. In fact, according to Metrolist there were over 31,000 active single family homes and condo properties on the market then. That’s the most recorded in recent times, and yet many people regard July 2006 as a stable economy and a robust housing market.

Fast forward to today. Metrolist reports there are currently over 19,000 active single family and condo listings on the market. That’s roughly a 40 percent reduction in available properties since 2006. Yet despite the serious drop in inventory, most people regard today’s housing market to be the worst.

What does this mean for buyers and sellers? Simply this: If you’re a potential seller, with inventory 40 percent lower now is not necessarily a bad time to put your home on the market. If you’re a buyer, keep in mind that as your selection continues to dwindle, it won’t be long before we see a shift from a buyer’s market to a seller’s market.

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