A surge in “pent-up supply”?

I have a couple of RSS feeds from real estate sites that I use to monitor listings that might be of interest to me.  They are targeted at a couple of neighborhoods, and focused on homes that are likely to be mid-century modern.  Over the past couple of weeks, I had noted that the volume of new listings had really dropped off.  I mean, there was almost no activity. I attributed it to the market slowing down – figured it was just a late summer phenomenon.

Then I checked them this morning, and was surprised to find five or six new listings on each.  What was going on?  So I headed over to Redfin to check to see what Seattle had in the way of new listings overall (side note:  what did we ever do before Redfin!?).  What I found there was pretty interesting:

  • There were 108 new listings in Seattle yesterday, versus 123 in the last three days and 350 in the last week.  The rate of new listings was double the average of the last three, seven, or fourteen day period!

Seattle Surge

  • I figured this might be some sort of statistical anomaly – so I checked Bellevue too.  It looks almost exactly the same:

Bellevue Surge

Checked Tacoma too. Same story:

Tacoma Surge

I’m not sure what might be going on.  I thought that listings were more likely to come on to market early in the month, not late in the month – but they seem to have exploded on the last day of the month.  I see three possible explanations:

  1. It’s normal.  The drop off just reflects the fact that homes sold.  (I don’t personally think this makes sense.  Homes aren’t selling all that quickly, and I don’t think it would explain the big difference between the one and 3 day average)
  2. There was some sort of glitch in the feed from NWMLS and new listings didn’t get posted for a couple days
  3. What I initially surmised:  that sellers had been waiting to see what happened with the Housing Recovery Bill and decided that since it was signed,  it was a great time to jump back into the market.

What say ye?  Any other perspectives?

  

31 comments:

  1. 1
    johnsgonefishin says:

    108 people just woke up and realized the better try and get what they can for the house before record price declines.

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  2. 2
    victorchai says:

    maybe some Dot com company just laid off 108 ppl?! ….NO?….
    Come on, that was my best guess….

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  3. 3
    Pegasus says:

    I don’t know if this has anything to do with it but a few days ago the inventory dropped about 600 in King Co. in one hour. This happened about a year ago with a much larger drop over more time. I never did find out what happened but it looked like someone was touching up the figures. Perhaps someone who is more knowledgable can explain it?

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  4. 4
    Greg Perry says:

    It just simply a conspiracy to confuse the masses…….

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  5. 5
    Keith says:

    Uh, tomorrow is actually the “last day of the month”.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  6. 6
    John says:

    Maybe a few people underwater actually read the bailout and realized:

    …that second investment home doesn’t qualify
    …the fairly low salary cuttoff
    …the giving up half profits on any sale, forever
    …the 2 year must hold rule
    …the continuing decline in prices
    …the writing on the wall

    This is of course assuming they suddenly decided to read something.

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  7. 7
    Alan says:

    Conspiracy!!!

    The MLS has been pushing articles promoting “pent up demand” while delaying listings in an attemp to break the “media created” slump in sales. But they couldn’t hold back forever and they just gave up that tactic.

    (either that or a glitch in the system that replicates and distributes the listings)

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  8. 8
    Alan says:

    It could also be pendings falling through at the end of the month. Aren’t pendings listings being taken out of the count these days?

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  9. 9
    jon says:

    Maybe that big drop off in inventory yesterday was a purge of a bunch of old listings, but some were incorrectly removed, so they had to be re-entered.

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  10. 10
    Andre says:

    What about recent and more to come layoffs at WaMu and Starbucks?

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  11. 11
    Primetime says:

    Maybe Redfin hired a few old Indymac employees.

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  12. 12
    geon says:

    I’m not seeing a surge of new listing in the area I’m watching, but have seen a lot of cancelled listings. Now, I’ll watch to see if they relist in the next couple of days. I know of at least a half a dozen or more house that have been sitting on the market for 6 months to over a year. The area SW King Co, Three Tree Point, Normandy Park, Des Moines.

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  13. 13
    deejayoh says:

    It could also be pendings falling through at the end of the month. Aren’t pendings listings being taken out of the count these days?

    Maybe that big drop off in inventory yesterday was a purge of a bunch of old listings, but some were incorrectly removed, so they had to be re-entered.

    I would think they’d have shown up with “date listed” as their original date, not as yesterday

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  14. 14
    Ken Mott says:

    Man #3 for sure. Do you have any data about other end of months. If its not the same, definitely the housing bill.

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  15. 15
    Pegasus says:

    Here are the numbers that concern me…….

    07.28.2008 16:00 13493 13719
    07.28.2008 17:00 13487 13704
    07.28.2008 18:00 12809 13704
    07.28.2008 19:00 12809 13715

    Anyone to explain this for King County?

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  16. 16
    victorchai says:

    Here are the numbers that concern me…….

    07.28.2008 16:00 13493 13719
    07.28.2008 17:00 13487 13704
    07.28.2008 18:00 12809 13704
    07.28.2008 19:00 12809 13715

    Anyone to explain this for King County?
    ——————————————————————————-
    some 1 bought nearly 700 houses in 1 hour….
    That was a easy 1…
    any Q?

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  17. 17
    Pickles McGraw says:

    I check redfin daily with the “show <2 days” filter on. In the last couple days there has been a huge influx of FSBOs, perhaps redfin is indexing a new source of these?

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  18. 18
    Scotsman says:

    Nothing new out here in the country, no new “for sale,” no recent price reductions. There have been a few expired listings, and one that was FSBO listed. Guess we’ll have to give it a few more days and see if the trend continues, sort of a last blast of summer…

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  19. 19
    Buceri says:

    Pegasus

    Every so often we see this type of huge drop in early morning. Obviously; someone at the MLS is messing around with the numbers.

    We have not recovered to the 13400 units from last Monday. And tomorrow is the 1st of the month; which means tonight there will be another deep cleansing. We could drop to 12500 or less.

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  20. 20
    AndySeattle says:

    Andre said:
    What about recent and more to come layoffs at WaMu and Starbucks?

    Between this and the housing bill I think this could be one of the causes. Also, how many other companies are laying-off that may not be news worthy?

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  21. 21
    Sniglet says:

    how many other companies are laying-off that may not be news worthy?

    As the global recession kicks in during 2009, I expect to see virtually EVERY major employer in the Seattle area either institute hiring freezes, or announce out-and-out lay offs. Boeing is already seeing customers trying to cancel up to a third of outstanding orders (as airlines are struggling for financial survival), and this is only the tip of the iceberg.

    As the global economies contract, we will see demand destruction everywhere. Lower IT budgets, fewer PC sales, retailers hurt (just look at all the bankruptcies already), etc. I can’t think of a single major Seattle area employer that won’t wind up shedding jobs.

    I recall how quickly things went from boom to bust in Silicon Valley when I lived there in the ’90s. One year Sun Microsystems was the king of the world, building shiny new campuses, and the next year they were laying off staff by the bus-load. Change can come much more swiftly than we realize…

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  22. 22
    sf_boomerang says:

    Speaking of inventory…

    Not sure if this is relevant, but I did a New Listings search on Redfin this morning, and it seems like there are way more FSBO listings this morning than I normally see in areas like Ballard, Cap Hill, Ravenna, Green Lake…

    Am I seeing things?

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  23. 23
    cheapseats says:

    I noticed the same FSBO thing this morning. There appear to be significantly more than normally show up in the new listings for the greater Seattle area. Where is Ray P?

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  24. 24
    Buceri says:

    Good anecdote –

    This family relocated from Florida to Seattle for a job transfer (exec. in well known builder) last February.

    A family member of mine in FL flew the young child of the executive to FL to spend 2 weeks with her son. I asked her to please ask how things were going in Seattle next time she spoke with the wife of the executive. Last Saturday, I saw the kid and I asked him straight out: “how’s your dad?”. he replied: “oh, stressed. WA is seeing the slow down that Florida had a couple of years ago” (based on his age, he was obviously repeating dinner table talk). Ten minutes later my family member tells me: “Oh I spoke with her; she says things are fine and selling xxxxx homes per month, and prices are going up.”

    I found it extremely funny. Guess who I believe.

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  25. 25
    DavidB says:

    I noticed a lot of “for sale by owner” listings that just appeared on Redfin yesterday for the Seattle area. I’ve never noticed so many of these listings before especially all posted the same day.

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  26. 26
    Buceri says:

    Not sure if this is relevant, but I did a New Listings search on Redfin this morning, and it seems like there are way more FSBO listings this morning than I normally see in areas like Ballard, Cap Hill, Ravenna, Green Lake…

    Correct; this is the “my home is not selling because the realtor is bad” stage (denial). The home gets pulled out and goes back on as a FSBO.

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  27. 27
    DavidB says:

    Maybe sellers are optimistic that the new housing bill will help spur demand for housing.

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  28. 28
    deejayoh says:

    I suspect the huge number of FSBO’s added today is a new Redfin feature or data feed. there were only a handful in the listings I looked at yesterday. Not so many red dots

    I note that there are only 58 new MLS listings in Seattle this morning (out of 170 total! The rest are FSBO)

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  29. 29
    deejayoh says:

    just as I thought – I clicked through a bunch of the new FSBO listings and they are all sourced “ByOwnerHomesAndLand via Oodle“. Must be a new data source that Redfin acquired via Oodle. they have had the Oodle listings on there for a while, but not so many as showed up today.

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  30. 30
    EconE says:

    OT…

    we need a Spammer cleanup in the forums. User jim_lee

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  31. 31
    biliruben says:

    Yeah, I noticed the FSBO tsunami too this morning.

    I also noticed a few that need to into the comp-killer thread.

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