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Inventory is Back!

Is the Seller’s Market Over?

Since about 2011 the market has been solidly favored sellers. Prices have been on a steady march upwards, inventory has held tight, and buyers have been scrambling for anything that’s available. But now, in the midst of record-low interest rates for 2019 and inventory on the rise, it’s fair to ask, has the market finally swung toward buyers?

The number that jumped out at me this month when I sat down to look at stats from the Willamette Valley Multiple Listing Service was the change between months of inventory and active listings in 2018 and 2019. Months of inventory was up 18 percent, from 3.00 months in April 2018 to 3.54 months in April 2019. That’s a huge move, and a welcome sign for buyers. Likewise, active listings were up nearly 12 percent year over year from just 2,500 listings in 2018 to 2,795 listings this year.

What Do Buyers and Sellers Need to Know?

For buyers, key stats like an increase in inventory and active listings point to the rush of millennial home buying cooling for now. It means you can take your time and consider each deal more closely instead of handing in an offer as soon as possible. It can also mean we may be getting closer to buyers being able to come to the table with the tiniest asks again, such as covering portions of closing, waiting on a house to sell or a few repairs to be completed. Keep an eye on interest rates, however. A slight change can drastically affect affordability and how far your down payment can go.

Sellers shouldn’t panic. Prices are still steadily rising and market volume is still at record-breaking heights. Depending on how in-demand your area is, you may or may not even notice the pressure that’s been released from the market. There have been sellers in the past few years who have had the idea that you could put your home on the market with a best-case scenario price and let the offers come to you with little effort and buy in. Some of these gambles even paid off simply because inventory was so tight. But that won’t play any more. Multiple-offer situations will become less common as well. Sellers who come to the market priced ready to deal will be rewarded with willing buyers and quick sales.   

Key Salem Housing Market Statistics

Here are a few other key stats from the Willamette Valley Multiple Listing Service housing report for April 2019:

Average Price for Single-Family Home Salem – $313,053
Average Number of Days on the Market Salem – 72
Average Price for Single-Family Home Keizer - $309,396
Average Number of Days on the Market Willamette Valley– 86
Single-Family Homes Sold Willamette Valley – 950
Total Dollar Volume of Homes Sold in Willamette Valley -- $949,270,318
Months of Housing Inventory Available in Willamette Valley – 3.54
Total Pending Sales Willamette Valley – 1,622
Active Listings Willamette Valley – 2,795
Active Listings Salem – 456
Active Listings Keizer – 75