On a consistent basis the number of homes that are added to the MLS as new listings far outnumbers the number of sales.  In fact, so far this year there have been 7,199 new residential listings added to the IRES MLS system in Boulder County.  During that same time 3,453 properties have sold.

So what happened to the 3,746 other properties that came on the market but have not yet sold?  Ont he chart above this number is represented by the gap between the red and the blue.  The most logical answer is that those properties are still on the market.  Right now there are 2,269 properties on the market.  So at first glance this would account for over half.  But remember that we don’t start the year with a blank slate.  On January 1, 2010 there were 2,191 listings on the market so actually we have just accounted for 78 of the 3,746 listings.  So where did they all go?

Here are the scenarios I can think of:

Withdrawn – Sellers get tired of selling.  They realize that their property at the price they want/need is not working so they withdraw it from the market and wait for a better day.  So far this year there have been 3,103 properties withdrawn.

Expired – Listing agreements between a Seller and Realtor last a finite amount of time.  If the property has not sold by the end of the agreement then the listing automatically is deleted from the system.  So far there have been 550 expired listings.

So the math so far:

2,191 starting inventory

+7,199 new listings

-3,453 sold listings

-3,103 withdrawn listings

-550 expired listings

= 2,284  (Actually the exact number of active listings is 2,269.)

I’m a bit surprised.  I was expecting this number to be way off and I was going to spend this paragraph talking about why the numbers don’t add up.  So on to plan B.  Despite the good math (less than 1% error), there is some fuzziness in the numbers.  Not every new listing is a “brand new” listing.  A Realtor can withdraw their listing and enter it again anew minutes later.  In a competitive market this happens, more often than you think.  Also, not all sold listings, withdrawn listings and expired listings were listed this year.  The numbers are not as straight forward as they seem.

So why am I debunking my numbers after I just proved the math to be accurate to less than 1%?  It’s because you need to realize that the numbers don’t always give the full picture.  There is more to it than looking at some statistics you have to know what is going on to have the full picture.  After selling real estate in Boulder since January 1992 I have developed a sixth sense of how the market is.  Right now the numbers don’t seem that great but I see more promise than I did two years ago at this time.  Let me know how I can be of service.

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