Analysis of market statistics is a key part of my coaching and planning sessions with clients looking to buy or sell a home. You've probably heard the terms "buyer's market" and "seller's market" ~ usually in the same conversation as the "B" word (bubble) ~ but what do these terms actually mean in a practical sense? Simply put, a buyer's market means the advantage favors the buyer: there is high inventory of homes in relation to the number of buyers, a good inventory selection fo buyers to choose from, and a low number of sales in relation to total listings. A seller's market favors the seller: there is low inventory for buyers to choose from, and sales are high with quick market time. A balanced market ratio means that neither the buyer or seller has a clear market advantage. The market ratios, however, change DAILY, they differ by PRICE RANGE, and by AREA/LOCATION, among other things. Here is where an agent who is in tune with the shifting economics of the market can be a terrific asset to you!
I track market data on a weekly basis in $50,000 price range increments. In the West Seattle market, for example, the overall market ratio favors the seller and even more so in the weeks following the Super Bowl (if you wanted to maximize your buying odds, Super Bowl weekend would have been a good time to do so!) However, there are pockets in certain price ranges where the ratios give a clear advantage to the buyer. Understanding the statistics and developing your strategies accordingly will give you more power as a buyer and greatly increase your odds of success. And when everyone else is still standing around the water cooler talking about the "bubble", you'll be jingling your new house keys and laughing all the way to the bank!