Spring inventory arriving at a snail’s pace 

Don Fenley 

GRAY, TN – Have you ever heard the saying, “you can’t sell out of an empty wagon?” It’s a reality local real estate professionals have struggled with for a little over two years.  

Inventory was tightening in the fourth quarter of 2020. Then it went beyond tight in 2021 when the regional inventory report dropped below two months. Realtors® searching in some of city and community submarkets saw inventory drop to a level they had never before seen. 

That’s why the pending sales report headline at said the spring inventory was beginning to show up got so much attention.  

It’s true that the inventory picture is beginning to brighten. At the end of Jan. the region had a 1.7 month-supply. Unfortunately, it’s been bouncing around at that level since Aug. last year. 

What has been increasing is the monthly active inventory. The reason the month’s supply barely changes is the number of pending sales have also increased. It wasn’t as much as the new listings rate, but it was enough to keep the month’s inventory stagnant.  

It’s also why there hasn’t been a lot of downward pressure on prices. Prices have slowly ebbed lower for the past several months, but like the inventory increase it’s moving at a snail’s pace. 

The inventory wagon won’t be overflowing, but barring some unexpected upset, there will be more homes on the market that what’ve the market has experienced for the past two years. 

NETAR is the voice for real estate in Northeast Tennessee. It is the largest trade association in the Northeast Tennessee, Southwest Virginia region, representing over 1,800+ members and 100+ business partners involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries. Weekly market reports and information for both consumers and members are available on the NETAR website at https://netar.us