3/10/2009

The Long Beach Market Inventory Slips Below 6 Months Supply

For February 2009, out of 11 zip codes in this report for Long Beach, only one zip code area had slightly more than 6 months' supply of inventory--in some areas the inventory for detached housing was as low as 1.6 months supply. This is a definite decrease from December 2008 when the months' inventory spread was from 2.9 to a high of 9.1 months of supply.

For attached housing (i.e., condos) the inventory supply is more: Across the same zip codes, the months' supply extended from 2.0 to 7.6, with the biggest inventory for condos under $400,000.

Comparing all of Long Beach to detached properties (houses) in other cities, Long Beach has 3 months inventory supply overall, which is more than La Palma, Cypress, Lakewood, Cerritos, La Mirada, Buena Park and Norwalk have, in that order. La Palma is down to .9 months of inventory left, overall. However, certain price categories may be different than the overall picture: for instance, houses in the $300,000 to $400,000 price range in Cerritos have 6 months, the greatest amount of supply, with some higher price ranges down to 1.1 months of inventory supply.

As you might already know, the 6 month line in real estate cycles is nationally considered the benchmark between a buyer's or a seller's market, so for some locations in these cities, choice for a buyer may now be more critical than in the past 2-3 years. "Supply and demand in the housing market is considered balanced when the inventory settles at about six months," according to the National Association of Realtors.

At least two reasons for this decline in inventory are great difficulty for buyer qualification for loans and loan origination guidelines which are increasingly stringent; and/or sellers not getting their price and thus taking properties off the market.

So for sellers who are ready to take advantage of this market, whether you're selling short or you've got equity, you may find a buyer!

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