Markets are defined by 2 sides, supply and demand. A key component of a buyers market is increasing supply. In some parts of the country, the supply of available homes for sale is 2 or 3 times what is was a year or two ago. Here in Sullivan County, that’s not the case. The inventory low came in 2005, when we bottomed out at about 700 single family homes on the market. Earlier this year the number peaked at 1,292 home for sale in the Sullivan MLS, but that number has been slowly declining ever since. Right now there are 1,157 single family homes for sale in the MLS, down slightly from the 1,179 at the beginning of September.
What’s happening? Of course, some houses are being sold and drop out of the inventory. But many sellers, it seems, are seeing the same news reports about the real estate market that buyers are seeing, and either deciding to pull their houses off the market for the time being, or wait to list their property until they think conditions improve. The impact is that inventory is shrinking. It may be ever so slight, but its happening.
Its almost like there’s a lockout by sellers in the face of a buyers strike. Somebody, though, is going to blink.