The chart above graphically illustrates how much the housing market has undergone a transformation in the last few years.
What is more or less similar over the period are seasonal changes – e.g. the drop in supply as sales jump in the spring. “Jump” does not, perhaps, apply this year. It was more like a hop that, anecdotally, seems to be fading. (Second-quarter figures will be released early next month, and you’ll find them in my newsletter on July 10.)
It appears that the trend line for this year will dip below 2006, but Miller-Samuel CEO Jonathan Miller notes the earlier year was anomolous. Fearing a spike in mortgage rates, so-called casual sellers flooded the market then.
This year, sellers who have listed their apartments and townhouses are probably motivated to unload them, no matter their perceptions of where the bottom might land.
Invariably, inventory slumps in the summer and picks up again in the fall as sales tend to resume. How high will supply go?
Another question is where mortgage rates will be after Labor Day. Still other questions center on the unemployment rate and the state of the economy both in the U.S. and in individual markets at that time.
By any measure and any comparison, inventory is sky-high. I’m unhappily betting it will remain so for a while. Interesting, if depressing, times, no?
Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker
Senior Vice President
Charles Rutenberg Realty
127 E. 56th Street
New York, NY 10022