As we begin the new year, I wanted to bring you an update on exactly what’s happening in the real estate world. First, what’s going on in the general market?

As we look back at December of 2018, it occurs to us that our inventory increased about 10%, which is a familiar point to us. Our sales were down 25% from the year before. In December 2017, we had 219 closed escrows, where in December 2018, we had 164—just for fun, we looked back on that figure for 2016, where we had 270 closings, meaning that there was a 40% decrease over the next two years. Additionally, there were 630 active listings when we closed out 2018. This all seems to indicate that the market is stabilizing.

Next, how do new listings compare to new pending sales?

If we have a lot more pending sales than we have new listings, that means our listing inventory will go down. If we have fewer pendings than new listings, that means our inventory will probably rise. As I glanced across the board for Los Osos, I saw that we had four new pendings and 11 new listings, meaning that we’ll likely have more inventory there. In Pismo, there were six new pendings and 13 listings, indicating a likely increase in inventory there, as well. The same is true of Atascadero, where there were 12 new pendings and 33 new listings. For those who have been wondering and complaining about a lack of inventory over the past few years, guess what? We’re going to have more options to choose from in our market.

Lastly, what do expired listings look like?

Expired listings refer to those who have cancelled, withdrawn, or had their contracts expire and are no longer on the market for whatever reason. In December of 2018, we had 237 expired listings. One year previously, we had 93. That means that 73% more people took their homes off the market in December 2018 than in 2017. However, when we measured the active inventory for that period, it still came out to be 10% higher, despite the number of homes removed from the market.

So what is this all telling us?

Well, if you’re a seller, you’ve got to be ready. Price your home competitively and do everything you need to with regards to preparing your home for the market. For buyers, you’ll have more opportunities to get more house for your dollar. All in all, this shift in the market is completely normal; we’ve been through situations like these before.

If you have any questions about these market changes and how they affect you, feel free to reach out to us.