What usually happens is, every December, homeowners who have their properties listed for sale take them off the market, because they don’t want to show them during the holidays, and because they know that few buyers are looking.
More importantly, sellers want to relist their properties after the new year, so that it looks as though their homes are new listings, not old and tired listings that no one wanted. (This doesn’t work, any longer, because our local MLS tracks these listings, showing actual number of days on the market, not just since it was relisted.)
Something different has happened, this year:
Over the past two decades, national inventories in January typically have increased about 8% from a month earlier, according to Credit Suisse Group.
[However,] (t)he number of homes listed for sale in 18 major U.S. metropolitan areas at the end of January was up 2.55% from a month earlier, according to data compiled by ZipRealty Inc., a national real-estate brokerage firm based in Emeryville, Calif.
Homes listed on multiple-listing services in the Boston metro area in January 2007: 34,677
This is only 1.3% more than in December 2006.
What happened? Are sellers just giving up? Are sellers waiting until the spring market, before relisting?
Or, were a lot of properties on the market just sellers looking for unrealistic prices, sellers not that interested in selling, but wanting to see what they could get?
*** Another interesting statistic. On February 8, 2006, there were 2,496 condominiums for sale within the entire city of Boston. On February 8, 2007, however, there are only 2,051 condominiums for sale within the entire city of Boston.
Source: Number of homes listed for sale in the United States – The Wall Street Journal