Conventional wisdom suggests that the low inventory of homes for sale is due to homeowners not putting their homes on the market. For months I’ve been pointing out that this is not true, and the chart at right proves my point. In creating it, I excluded all sales by builders, banks, corporations trusts, and government—all sellers except individuals. To the extent that an increasing number of individuals have their homes in the name of a trust or corporation, the numbers are understated.
Homes are being put on the market in record numbers. The only reason that active inventory is low is that homes are going under contract more quickly than ever. Median time on market was 64 days in 2008, 11 days in 2014, and only 8 days in 2017. That’s why acting quickly on new listings and knowing how to compete successfully in a bidding war is so important, as discussed in today’s other posting.