The Contra Costa Association of Realtors® (CCAR) publishes monthly market stats. The February numbers were quite shocking to me. Below is a graphic that illustrates the inventory of homes for sale.
Notice that the number of homes for sale under $300,000 has fallen by 52.6% from last February. Across the entire market the inventory is down 40% from February of 2011.
Now look at a graphic illustrating the months supply of inventory. This metric analyzes the number of active listings divided by the number of homes sold in that month.
In February of 2011, the market would have needed 5 months to clear the inventory of homes under $300,000. This February it would have only taken 1.7 months to clear the market of the inventory of homes under $300,000. This is a 67.2% decrease year-over-year. The entire months supply has decreased by 48% across all markets.
What it All Means
The market is very brisk at the current time. Properties under $300,000 are getting multiple offers. If you are looking to buy, you should be ready with a pre-approval and a competitive offer. If you are an investor, consider making an all cash offer. Many properties are going for at or above market price depending on the area and condition of the property.