Source: Seattle Bubble
Look out Washington! It’s not looking like 2008 is going to be the turning point for the housing market if you look at the inventory curves. No matter how you slice and dice the most recent statistics provided by the Northwest MLS, housing inventory ( the number of houses available on the market ) is literally twice as high as it was just two short years ago at this point in the year, though February brought an increase in the number of pending sales. Worse yet, while inventory is still well below the recent peak reached in September 2007, a careful look at the actual numbers leaves one to wonder if homeowners didn’t simply give up in late 2007 as the holiday season approached and take their house off the market. Should this be the case, many of these same homeowners may be rushing back into the market this spring and summer swamping the local market and driving prices lower as supply greatly exceeds demand.
Seattle Bubble provides a great chart depicting this huge build up in inventory. (More excellent tell-tale Seattle Bubble charts can be found here.) Take a close look at the housing inventory since 2000 on this chart and notice the ratio between the houses available in February and the houses available in September of the same year. Could we be looking at 16,000 homes being on the market at the same time by this September? If history is any guide, I’d say anything is possible.
Should that be the case, hang on to your wallets folks, as the King County housing market may heading into the most turbulent time in at least the last decade.