Seriously. We have been whining about the “low inventory” for years — literally since the market bounced back from the days when we had too much inventory and buyers had bargain choices. But this is like no low inventory we have seen. I have been logging the inventory every couple of weeks since 2008, and I can tell you that (let’s take Alamo as an example), inventory has always fluctuated seasonally. In the 2008 – 2012 “foreclosure years,” the year would open around 60 homes for sale in Alamo, climb to around 120 or so, then back to 60 at year-end.
Huge change when the buyers market turned into a sellers market. Still very seasonal, but now 60 (or so) was the high in the summer, and the year would open at 22 or 23.
This year, Alamo opened with 16 (sixteen!) homes on the market, climbed to 22 by end of January, but now at mid-February has DROPPED to 18. People like to wait until “after the Super Bowl” to come on the market, but that has come and gone (somebody won, there were ads that everyone gets excited about . . . this is the extent of my knowledge of that sporting event), and still no inventory.
(sidebar) I don’t follow football (obviously) and elected to attend my Pilates class at 4:30 on Super Bowl Sunday, but that was also Day 1 of the Australian Open, which for any tennis fans out there, has been amazing so far. Actual FANS were able to attend at first, but then there was an “outbreak” of the virus (14 cases, Australia has a very different approach to COVID) and now they are in a 5 day lockdown period with no fans. Hilariously, they have piped in applause that only the TV viewers can hear. Anyway IMO — way more fun than watching football and I’m recording about 10 hours of tennis each night and then powering through the matches the next day. I’m in tennis heaven. (If you don’t enjoy watching tennis, then never mind — I once argued with someone who said it was like watching paint dry. NO!!! I literally watch every point and rewind some when it’s a match I care about.)
Ok, back to real estate. This low inventory is plaguing Alamo and Danville more than the surrounding towns, and for all the buyers (so many of them), it is discouraging. Buyers are writing offers that are incredible and still losing out because the competition is that crazy. Here’s a chart showing the inventory change in the last two weeks — creeping up (barely) in some towns, but down in Alamo and Danville.