One of the key metrics I look at as a realtor is the inventory of homes currently on the market. This gives me an idea of how much property is actually available to sell…an important consideration, when that’s your livelihood. But equally importantly, according to the age-old laws of supply and demand, it’s a predictor of where prices are likely to go: up, if inventory is decreasing, or down, if it’s increasing. And right now in Walnut Creek, inventory is the lowest it’s been for the past year and is continuing its steep decline, which means prices are on an equally steep trajectory upwards. Just take a look at the graph below to see what I mean:
Of course, inventory isn’t the only factor to consider in determining where home prices are likely to go – macroeconomic conditions, seasonality and demographic trends are also big ones, to name just a few – but in any market, supply is always going to be one of the key variables. And right now, the extremely low inventory of Walnut Creek homes combined with sustained buyer demand means that sellers are getting multiple offers and often seeing their homes sell for well above the original listing price. In fact, just last week I was amazed to get several offers for one home within just a few days…and when that scenario is occurring regularly throughout the local real estate market, it’s no wonder that prices keep going up.
Another part of the big picture is the fact that Walnut Creek is becoming such a popular place to settle down. This means that more and more buyers are coming into the market, providing even more upward pressure on home prices. These are the enthusiastic folks making those multiple offers on homes, and I don’t see their numbers decreasing any time soon.
As I mentioned, seasonality plays an important role as well, and looking ahead into spring and summer, the typical peak months for home sales, I expect home inventory to begin rising again as more owners hop off the fence and decide to put their homes on the market. But these are also the months when even more buyers will begin looking seriously as well, and the rise in the demand they represent means it’s likely home prices will continue to rise or at least remain stable.
OK, that’s enough data crunching and prognosticating for one day. So what’s the takeaway lesson in all this? It’s a seller’s market out there in Walnut Creek, and it’s likely to stay that way for the foreseeable future.
Speaking of which…got a home to sell? You’ve come to the right place – feel free to call or email anytime for advice on getting it listed and getting it sold. In a market like this you might get more for it than you expected!