One measure of how hot or cold the housing market is the amount of housing inventory. That is, how long it will take the existing houses on the market to sell. A balanced market is said to be about 6-7 months, meaning it’s neither a buyer’s or seller’s market. Inventory greater than balanced indicates a colder market with softer selling prices.
Lane County’s market has been a buyer’s market since about September 2007, which is roughly when the home loan crisis started. For the first time in 21 months, we’re now balanced with an inventory of 6.8 months. Who knows if it will stay that way, but it seems like a good sign to me.
When compared to recent national data, Lane County’s inventory is typically less. However, sales nearly stopped this winter, and we saw exceptionally high inventory in January and to a lesser degree in February. The chart below shows this.