Last year about this time I posted about inventory in Essex County. At the time, inventory was feeling unusually constricted. With the economy heating up and interest rates on the rise, focus seems to be on inventory. So how is inventory sitting at the moment and how does it compare to the same period a year ago?
Inventory is indeed tight with many towns with less than 3 months of supply. This doesn’t sound too bad but this plays out to be reasonably difficult since there are most likely properties with pricing issues or FPE issues (functional, physical or external) mixed in with the normal run of the mill prime properties in each locality.
Taking a look at the same chart from this time in 2017 there are a few takeaways.
Looking at the year over year comparison, the inventory squeeze actually seems reduced practically across the board in 2018 vs. this same time in 2017. In other words, although it is true that inventory is low, the situation actually isn’t as pronounced as it was last year. There are a few notable exceptions. Newark, leaps to the forefront, having improved substantially from 2017 to 2018 in terms of listing supply in a major way. Some neighborhoods in Newark such as the Ironbound, are reporting low inventory on a level we haven’t seen since the early 2000’s.
We have a lot of factors being digested by the markets at the moment, including higher cost of mortgage capital, more robust job markets and lower unemployment and a reshuffling of the tax aspect of home buying all working together. It should be interesting to see where it all shakes out.