Inventory -- in real estate, it's a fancy way of saying how many homes are available for sale. It's fancy because most real estate agents are used to talking in single syllable REALTOR-speak, to wit:
buy, sell, rent, sold, price, sale, home, house, etc.
As we approach 2010 (not the sci-fi sequel to 2001, but the year), it is clear when analyzing the Northern Virginia real estate market that The Story is Inventory, or more appropriately, the lack of inventory.
Take a look at some charts that vividly show you the picture of inventory in Northern Virginia, comparing today's numbers to those of 4 weeks ago, January 1, 2009, and January 1, 2008. The graphs speak for themselves.
Just to highlight, in Fairfax County, there is just under 50% as many homes available for sale today as there were on January 1st, 2009!
With many real estate listings set to expire on December 31, 2009 (2 days from now), I'm expecting that inventory numbers will be even lower as we enter the new year.
Currently there is approximately a 1.9 month supply of homes on the market when you combine these three Northern Virginia jurisdictions.
What does this mean?
Demand for homes in the Northern Virginia and D.C. region has not dissipated. With the growth of the federal government and our relatively stable (and best) job market in the country, people are relocating to the area.
The $8000 first time homebuyer tax credit and $6500 move-up tax credit available until April 30, 2010 will continue to fuel housing demand.
Unless inventory increases significantly, in 2010, you should expect to see 2004/2005 style bidding wars and the continued rebound from pricing lows.
If you are selling your home, there may be no better time than 2010 to get it sold fast (as long as you price it right and use a skilled REALTOR).
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