An eight-month pipeline of homes waiting to sell (so far)
Predicting how long a home will take to sell is no certain business. But here's one statistic sellers and buyers alike might like to know:
At the pace of May sales, it would take eight months to find buyers for all the Maryland homes still on the market.
A year earlier, when the federal home buyer tax credit was boosting activity, that pipeline was just over six-and-a-half months long. (Six months or so is usually considered a balanced market, where sellers and buyers have more or less equal power.)
This stat can tell you only so much, of course. There's no guarantee that sales will continue at the same pace or that the number of listings will remain more or less even as some homes come on the market and others go off. How quickly banks repossess homes and put them on the market as new foreclosures is one of the big question marks, what with the slowdown that came in the wake of robo-signing revelations.
But that months-of-supply figure is one bit of market intel you'll want to have if you're looking or selling. Here's the breakdown by county in the Baltimore region for the month of May, and a way to get it down to the ZIP code:
|Homes sold||Homes on the market||Months of inventory, 2011||Months of inventory, 2010|
Source: Maryland Association of Realtors, Metropolitan Regional Information Systems
Remember, that's for May. The months-of-inventory figures are May 2011 and May 2010.
If you'd like to see what the situation is at a community level, go to the website of Metropolitan Regional Information Systems' stats arm, RealEstate Business Intelligence, and look up a ZIP code report. (Here, for instance, is 21212.)
Once you're on the landing page for the ZIP code you want, find the "Reports" tab, click on it, and then hit the button for "See Most Recent." (This is what you get when you do that for 21212.)
Find the figure for "active listings" in the month you want. Then divide that by the number of "units sold." Voila: the months of supply.