Nine years of RMLS Inventory

When RMLS Market Action was released this afternoon the first thing I noticed was that December’s inventory is the lowest shown on the graphic.  The write-up doesn’t help as it just says it, “is the lowest in months.”  A quick dive back into the December 2006 & 2009 Market Actions helps paint a better picture (and show some evolution of the report).  It isn’t until we get to 2006 that we see inventory this low (so “lowest in months” equals 76 months).   In August of 2006 there were 10,544 active listings.  This December there were 6,352.  Since inventory is calculated as a ratio of Active Listings divided by closed sales we can see there more closed sales driving the August ’06 inventory numbers.  That means buyers had more homes to look at but they were being snapped up in larger quantities.  Today’s buyer has fewer homes to look at.

These are “Portland Metro” numbers, a five county area.  When we drill down a little we see:

  • North Portland: 3.5 months
  • NE Portland: 2.3 months
  • SE Portland 2.5 months
  • Lake Oswego/West Linn: 5.5 months
  • West Portland: 4.0 months
  • NW Washington County: 3.0 months
  • Beaverton/Aloha: 2.5 months
  • Tigard/Wilsonville: 2.75

We then notice that the low inventories aren’t just isolated to the close-in city center areas.  Beaverton and Tigard/Wilsonville also have really low numbers.

Rather than continuing with other market stats in review I’ll stop here and continue in another post shortly.