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Three Cents Worth: Inventory's Dead Cat Bounce

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[This week, Curbed graph guru and podcaster extraordinaire Jonathan Miller brings us some inventory analysis (and tries to break Curbed with graphs).]

Although I've been tracking Manhattan inventory on a monthly basis for about a decade, I began to collect information weekly last fall when the wheels were coming off our economic wagon. Since I have been remiss from contributing to Curbed as of late, I thought I'd provide a 5-fer. I wanted to look at weekly inventory trends by a bunch of classifications over the past year.

The surge of sales over the summer had the effect of working off a bunch of excess inventory, but it still remains about 20% above historical norms. The expectation for this fall (post-summer sales boom) was a slow down in sales activity and a corresponding jump in listing inventory. Inventory usually increases after Labor Day weekend and this year was no expectation. However, expected rise in inventory in October didn't occur.

Some basic observations:

This rise in 1-bedroom and 2-bedroom apartments (the largest market segments)after Labor Day leveled off in October.
Pre-war and post-war saw the same pattern of decline in inventory over the year with a modest bump up in the fall (a 2 to 1 ratio of post-war over pre-war).
The regions showed similar declines from the spring, with the East Side showing the least decline. (Uptown was too small to show a pattern.)
Inventory units in doorman building fell more than non-doorman, suggesting more demand.
Re-sale showed a sharp decline in listings while new development was relatively stable; meaning limited demand and not a reflection of shadow inventory.

· Manhattan Listing Inventory [Miller Samuel]
· Three Cents Worth