Inventory peaked for the year in late September and early October, as places that did not sell in the spring and summer were either re-listed or were still on the market, but with a lower price than that at which they had previously been listed. In Meanwhile, we had new listings after Labor Day which hit the market. The sum of the two, along with a less urgent and smaller pool of buyers in the fall, amounted to the peak of inventory for the year. By the end of July, if someone has not made an offer on a new home or condo, then that party is likely renewing a lease, or has put aside their urgent search, giving up hope of being in a new home by Labor Day.
Naturally, this increase in supply, along with the lower demand, especially the lower buyer urgency, amounted to a slower market, one where a buyer may have actually regained some leverage and may have even had an opportunity to negotiate, by a small amount of money, the price on a new purchase. Thus, while it may seem like prices have fallen recently, it is just natural market forces taking control, This follows a trend of what happens in most fall seasons.
I fully expect that by the end of the year, those listings still left in the marketplace where the seller really needs to sell will lower the price to get it done, or less urgent sellers will just withdraw the listing from the active market until the spring market, whenever it is determined by that seller and their broker that the spring market has started, whether as early as January or as late as early April.
It is inevitable that we hit our low point for active listing inventory on January 1, as many unsold properties will just have their listing agreements expire on December 31. Thus, as places slowly get re-listed over the winter, buyers just entering the market or those just scouting the market to learn more what they may expect to pay when they are ready to buy a few months hence, can sometimes get caught up in the frenzy of a very low winter inventory with all of the spring buyers heading out to open houses on any given weekend. Whether that spring buyer is urgently looking or not, it is hard not to get caught up in the frenzy when one hears about every newly listed property going under agreement right away with multiple offers bidding up the price. It happens every winter. Indeed, that the increase in price that takes place in most years, recession years not withstanding, almost always occurs to the greatest extent during the winter selling season, as inventory remains low until at least March 1, while the spring pool of buyers is already out in the marketplace. Whether these winter open house attendees intend to buy right away, or are just scouting out the marketplace to see what they should expect to pay or are trying to get a sense of what they expect for their price capabilities, many get caught up right away in the frenzy of few listings being shown to a huge pool of visitors/prospectors/legitimate buyers. Once they get word of a house having gone under agreement with multiple offers, many winter house browsers panic and get caught up in the frenzy, quickly making an offer on a house lest a similar house hit the market for even more money a few months later.