There’s a lot of talk lately about how challenging it can be for buyers to find a home in the current market. While housing inventory is still low, there are a few important concepts for clients to understand about the supply of homes for sale as we move toward the end of the year.
The Number of Homes for Sale Usually Peaks in Fall
In the residential market, trends generally follow a predictable and seasonal pattern. Typically, the number of homes available for sale peaks in the fall. But at a time where so little feels normal, the question becomes: Should we expect a fall peak this year?
If we look at the active monthly listings for 2021 (shown in the chart below), we’ll see that the number of homes on the market has increased fairly steadily since spring this year. Data from realtor.com shows we’re still seeing an increase in active inventory month-over-month, and have been seeing such for several months. While that gain is a bit smaller month-to-month (for instance from August to September), the numbers are still moving up from the prior month:
The important takeaway here is the that latest monthly numbers show growth. At the end of September, buyers had more options to pick from than they did this spring. That’s encouraging for your clients who may have paused their search or willingness to list months ago because they had trouble finding a home. Danielle Hale, Chief Economist at realtor.com, sums this up nicely:
“Put simply, this September buyers had more options than they’ve had all year and while that’s typical of early fall, that’s not what happened in 2020. Still, it’s important to remember that while buyers may have an easier time this fall than they did in the spring, the market remains more competitive than it has been historically at this time of year.”
As Hale notes, this fall peak in inventory is in line with typical seasonal trends. While it’s impossible to say for certain what the future holds for housing inventory, we do know both buyers and sellers have additional opportunities this season based on the latest data. While the current market is near its peak level of competitiveness, the increased number of options should make a transaction more obtainable for well resourced and able parties.
Although we’re entering mid-fall, it’s hardly the the time for your clients to ease the intensity of their search. Whether they’re buying or selling, there’s still a chance to have goals become a reality this season. Connect with them now to discuss what’s going on with the local market and current trends, specifically around listing inventory and its current direction.