May 22 Market Update

Weekly stats update courtesy of the VREB.

May 2017
May
 2016
Wk 1 Wk 2 Wk 3 Wk 4
Unconditional Sales 193 436 698
1289
New Listings 361 692 1013
1423
Active Listings 1797 1854 1855
2406
Sales to New Listings  53% 63% 69%
91%
Sales Projection 889 940 966
Months of Inventory

1.9

About a week left in the month and at this pace of new listings we will fall short of last May’s total new listings which doesn’t help the supply crunch.    After some decent inventory gains in the last weeks (+72, +73, +57), we were back to flat in the last week at 1855 properties on the market.   Last year this time there were 2431.

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Market Timing

Some discussion here about market timing in real estate this week and whether it can be done.   Thought I’d add my 5 cents to that discussion.

Market timing in the real estate sense would be to either buy or sell based on expectations of where the market is going.  There are several kinds of market timing in real estate:

  1. For non-owners, choosing to delay buying based on an expectation that prices will decline.
  2. For owners, choosing to sell real estate on the expectation that prices will decline and perhaps that it can be bought back at a cheaper price later.
  3. Buying or acquiring additional real estate much earlier than originally planned based on an expectation that prices will increase quickly.

Mostly we hear about the first on that list, and then occasionally we see people attempting the second.

In the stock market, there is pretty good evidence that market timing doesn’t work, but what about in real estate?   Having read many thousands of very intelligent and convincing arguments about why the market was either under or overvalued in the last 10 years, I’m inclined to think that although the local fundamentals like incomes and market conditions can be used to make reasonable predictions, the macro-level factors (credit availibility, housing policy, market sentiment, immigration, etc) are so influential that you can’t have much confidence in those predictions. Continue reading