This week I took a look at the month-over-month change in inventory over the past year by number of bedrooms. I'm zeroing in on active listings because it seems to be the focus of most of the real estate industry conversation at the moment.
This year saw the same seasonal January jump as sellers continued to place their apartments on the market after the new year. In what was expected to be a "boring" housing market in 2011, free of the chaos of last year?a la federal tax credit for homebuyers?I'm wondering if this year is starting to look a little manic.
• Inventory growth went negative in February as contract activity jumped, snapping up what was available.
• March is showing growth in listings for the first three weeks, yet last year at this time the growth had already gone negative as active listings were overpowered by sales.
• Since Labor Day, all apartment sizes began to move in lockstep rather than the fuzzy pre-Labor Day patterns. With all apartments sizes rising and falling at nearly the identical rate, I took that as a sign that general market sentiment was improving and it affected the entire market uniformly. Maybe the negative headline news of the past month has delayed demand a bit (Japan, Libya, Sheen).
I am expecting more seasonality in 2011 than we have seen in the past three years. Perhaps after the initial surge in 2011, the edge has come off the market a bit.
Manhattan Co-op/Condo Active Listings [M-O-M % Change] [Miller Samuel]
· Three Cents Worth archive [Curbed]