- The Washington Times - Friday, November 2, 2007

Despite the slowest real estate market in a decade, 41,000 homes were put on the market during the third quarter.

If only we could move some of these homes to California, where they need them.

Even though the number of homes put up for sale during the third quarter was significantly lower than it was in 2006 and 2005, home sales also have slowed since then.

A little over 16,000 homes were sold during the third quarter — compared to 22,500 last year.

That drop in sales is the reason why the inventory of available homes still stood at 51,000 at the end of September.

We just have too many homes for sale given the slow pace of today’s market.

Fortunately, if you look at the adjacent fever chart, you can see that home listings have been down all year.

You can also see the big spike in September 2005. That’s when our current slow market began. Hordes of investors and homeowners threw their properties on the market in the fall of 2005.

At the same time, buyer interest began to fade.

Now, buyer interest is the lowest in a decade, and the number of homes on the market is the highest in history.

That’s great for buyers, particularly in counties like Prince William which are saturated with an overabundance of available homes.

However, for the sake of everyone who cares about the stability of home values, we can hope that the number of listings coming on the market continues to decline.

At the same time, when buyers take notice of their advantageous position in today’s market, sales could climb and our housing market could return to being more balanced.

Contact Chris Sicks by e-mail (csicks@gmail.com).



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