Everyone is speculating about why the inventory in Marin County has been so incredibly low all of a sudden this year, and I think I can offer at least a partial explanation: buyers are snapping up short sales and less are coming on the market. The chart below shows all residential short sales in Marin over the last five years, so basically since the time we started seeing them come on the market back in 2007. The number of active short sale listings has come back down to about where we started, with a dramatic drop in new ones coming on in April (the blue line that dives down at the bottom right). There were only 13 new short sale listings in Marin in April, compared to 38 in March, and 44 in April of last year.Â And so far in May only 13 have come on. This certainly is affecting inventory overall, and it’ll be really interesting to see if this is a trend or an anomaly.
And then the real question is why are so few new short sales coming on the market ? Are sellers who were thinking about short selling now having second thoughts because the market has been so hot, thinking maybe they can wait it out and their homes will come back in value? Are they more successful at getting loan modifications lately? Is it some combination of these things, or something else altogether?
If you have thoughts or insights please share them in the comments, and as always feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions or to get more detailed markets stats.