Demographic Research – Housing Inventory

There are many statistics a real estate investor should pay attention to. One of those statistics is housing inventory. This statistic is commonly referred to as “months of inventory”. A simple definition could be, “The number of months it would take to sell all of the homes currently on the market.” For example, ten months of inventory would signify more of a buyer’s market, meaning more homes to choose from. Whereas four months of inventory would denote more of seller’s market meaning fewer homes for retail buyers to choose from. Knowing this statistic would help an investor tell where the market is and what strategy would be most beneficial.

One of the best ways to research the housing inventory is visiting www.realtor.org. This website is hosted by the National Association of Realtors (NAR). The NAR has an interest in gathering housing statistics so that REALTORS and other real estate professionals can keep their eye on housing movement. At the tops of the webpage you will see a tab entitled “Research and Statistics.” By clicking on this tab you will find many types of statistics including housing inventory.

Another resource to find these statistics is your states’ board of REALTORS website. You can find this website with a quick google search. The state’s Board of REALTORS will also keep tabs on housing inventory to help local real estate professionals. An investor is able to use this information to help in evaluating deals.

The previously mentioned techniques will give you good statistics. If you want local statistics, and you do want local information, you should turn to your real estate professional. A REALTOR who has access to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) would be able to research housing statistics for an individual neighborhood if you need data as specific as this.  The data from the MLS is much more accurate and local than other resources you will find. Simply ask a REALTOR for the data on the current housing inventory. A good REALTOR will supply you with this information along with other statistics that will benefit your business.

Using the housing inventory statistic to determine the market is important for the investor. If we are in a seller’s market then a buy, fix, and sell strategy would be a good choice. Conversely, an investor in a buyer’s market would be better served using a buy & hold strategy. Therefore, the housing inventory statistic is key to determine the market we are currently in.