It’s one of the oldest laws in history – the “Law of Supply and Demand”. And in residential real estate, there are some very specific measurements, that tell you most of what you need to know about any given market.
Take any specific territory (one zip code, or several), then we refer to “supply” as the number of available houses on the market today, and we call the demand, the number of houses that sold in the previous 30 days. Next, divide the former, by the latter, and that gives us “months of inventory”. (to be clear, if there are 400 houses on the market today, and 100 houses have sold in the past 30 days, 400/100=4 “months of inventory”). What we have learned in modern real estate history, is that when “months of inventory” is less than 4, seller’s are pretty much “in charge” of the negotiations and the buyer is just grateful for the opportunity to (hopefully) buy. Under these circumstances, we regularly see properties receive multiple offers, and buyers are often prone to paying more than the appraised value for a house. That’s the way it has been in the Las Vegas Valley for quite some time. I, personally started tracking inventory levels in September of 2012, when inventory was a paltry 1.34 months of inventory. I did this because I had learned that people who tracked these kind of numbers, saw what was coming, long before the typical consumer. A lot of people were blindsided in Las Vegas in 2006, and I did not want that to happen to me or my clients in the future. We just recently broke the 4 barrier and today we have 4.12 months of inventory.
What is next? That depends. Of course, historically less houses sell in the winter months, however, last December, we never broke the “4” mark; and inventory levels ranged between 3.29-3.38 months. What I hope this means is that we will continue for a long time to see “months of inventory” between 4-6 in our valley? What happens after 6?, well then the buyer’s kind of become “in charge” and the seller’s are just happy to have someone (hopefully) buy their property.
Would you like to see the supply of homes available in 89135 (Summerlin South)? 43 residential properties sold last month, and this link will show you what is what is available right now;
(The Las Vegas valley is considered balanced, as a whole, however sellers are still “in charge” in this zip code)