As the mercury inches downward outside, grab your favorite hot beverage and let's review the buyers and sellers weekly dance card. Bear in mind that current activity may look especially slow compared to last year's tax-credit-induced performance.
For the week ending October 9, sellers continued to pick up their tempo by introducing 1,479 new listings to the marketplace. That's only 4.1 percent fewer new homes than last year at this time, as the year-over-year comparison gap continues to narrow. Buyers danced to a slower beat. The 523 pending sales for the week were 44.8 percent fewer than last year. That's the largest decline in 13 weeks.
With seller activity slowly returning and buyer activity remaining sluggish, inventory levels are still high. There were 26,866 active listings as of October 18. Keep a close watch on this metric, as it emphasizes the dynamic balance between supply and demand-the most critical forces affecting the market.
There is some good news in the mix. At 220, housing affordability is at an all-time high. The availability of low cost homes combined with low interest rates have created an extraordinary buying opportunity.