Its mid-December, the darkest time of the year. Ancient cultures always had a Festival of Lights about this time of year, trying to lift spirits and look forward to the longer days and sunnier dispositions of spring.
So, perhaps it was a glimmer of light that came across the newswires this morning as the ZipRealty housing survey was released for November, showing that housing inventory in many metro areas, including Baltimore, shrank considerably for the month compared to inventory in October. Nationally, the traditional shrinkage of housing inventory from October to November averages just under two percent. But this year the national average was closer to 10%. The Baltimore numbers were just under 4% shrinkage.
Fewer homes on the market should result in some home price stabilization, especially as we move into spring. That, tied in with the pent-up demand I’m seeing in my practics — so many people just waiting… waiting for some kind of good news that will spur them to enter the market to sell, buy, or both — gives me some cautious optimism that once the bad news is all out we will have the beginnings of a recovery. That’s a holiday gift we could really put to use.