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"Dude, where's my inventory," asks Bill McBride, as the imminent start of the spring selling season has
yet to bring much
product forward. Inventory is up just 3.4% thus far this year, and stands 23.2% below a year ago. If the rest of March doesn't bring substantial gains then razor-thin inventories may not be done bottoming.
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People looking at values and target prices use a few typical yardsticks in this market:
1 - Monthly payment: how does it compare to rent equivalent?
2 - What was the last top?
Then they calculate what they can afford (yardstick #1), go shopping and, due to dismal inventory, come back and revise their expectations. Looking back to the 2007 top, they figure it's still cheaper and just give up.
Some local markets are overheating, like most of coastal CA and especially the Bay Area.
SF, like Palo Alto and other techies magnets, have gone back or exceeded their 2007 top. This in turn creates a wave of increases all around
Mar 4, 2013. 10:19 PM
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