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Another Year of Low Inventory

Real estate market favors sellers again as there are fewer properties available on the market

By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant

Flowers aren’t the only things to appear in spring and summer. Moving vans are another.

According to Shyft, a Miami-based company that offers moving services, brokerage and consultation services for consumers, 60% of people move between May and August nationwide.

The rate is likely higher in the Northeast because of the weather.

We recently asked local real estate experts for their outlook for the “moving season.”

Here’s what they said:


“It’s very active, though we have limited inventory. We’re hoping to see more homes coming up for sale. It’s going to be a very active year for us. At present, it is extremely busy. It’s going to be a seller’s market all through this year. We’re hoping that starts to change. We’re a lot lower in inventory than in years past.”

— William Galloway, Owner and broker at Century 21 Galloway Realty in Oswego


“Forecasting can be tricky. Based on the market now, it still is a market where demand is outstripping supply. I think that will be the case heading into spring and summer. What makes it tricky is markets don’t move in the same direction forever. We’ve been in this market for a few years now and it doesn’t look like it’s letting up with the greater demand and limited supply.

“Micron will exacerbate this issue as it will bring many people into the area. People will be forced to look farther out. Pricing and what’s available will have them looking in outlying areas. People will expand their search radius. There’s tremendous value being able to raise a family in this kind of an environment.”

— Patrick Haggerty, Real estate agent with Century 21 Leah’s Signature in Fulton


“I’m guessing, based on the 37 years we’ve been in real estate, that we’ll have a terrific spring market. We always do. I’d like to be optimistic it will happen again.

“The challenge is we have very, very low inventory. Buyers are there and are qualifying but there’s very little to show them now.

“I’d like sellers to recognize the market is there. It’s not hot; it’s cooling to lukewarm. Offers are there but we’re not getting the multiple offers we were getting.

“Our outlook is optimistic but not as high as last year. I think it will be a good market for buyers.”

— Faye Beckwith, Real estate agent and owner, My Freedom Real Estate, Hannibal


“I think it will be healthy. I could be as busy as I wanted to be right now. I don’t think we’re going to bat an eye this spring and summer. People still need housing and there are plenty of people out there looking.

“I don’t think they’ll be as willing to overpay to get in a house. They won’t be in a fever to get in. They’ll be more cautious, but I don’t see the prices coming down a whole lot. I think people will be offering a decent price on homes and the prices will stay at the level where they are right now.

“I’m ready to list three different houses of people ready to sell. That will free up housing for people who want a place. Having the inventory to sell has held us up. People who want to buy a place need to find somewhere to move.”

— Linda J. Thomas-Caster, Licensed associate real estate broker, Howard Hanna Real Estate, Fulton


“I do think the market for building lots has improved. All new construction came to a halt. It was difficult to sell land lots. We have a few under contract this year so there seems to be more interest. But a few builders have retired.”

— Noelle Salmonsen, Real estate agent with My Freedom Real Estate, Hannibal


“Micron is coming to town bringing all these jobs. We’re an enigma and we’re experiencing an even bigger housing shortage. It’s spreading to the outside areas. I think it will have an effect on surrounding counties because people like living rural. They don’t want to live in the city. It will help. It will have an effect on the outlying areas and cause appreciation. It will affect the region. It will be a positive effect on the surrounding areas.

“I see the rest of the country going back to normal. We’re not going back as quickly. The feds have done a good job at combating a recession. They’re predicting interest rates aren’t going up much. Houses have appreciated by 8% in our part of the country. There’s a lot of equity in homes.

“Lots of empty-nesters and baby boomers with no kids who are looking to downsize. They have money to do it. I’m very optimistic going forward into spring and summer market. A survey done by Realtors countrywide showed that 20% expected a year over year of buyer increased traffic and 13% expect a year over year increase of seller traffic. That’s up over last year. Fifty-four percent of respondents reported that property sold in less than a month and they’re still selling and receiving multiple offers.

“Due to the lack of housing inventory, they expect the use of technology to help buyers peruse homes. It’s changed the ways realtors, buyers and sellers do business. It’s morphed. Initially, we had no other option. People bought without ever seeing them. Many homeowners start out seeing things online. It’s changed in that way. Everyone’s working smarter.”

— Mark W. Re, Vice president and regional manager CNY/NNY region of Howard Hanna in Camillus and president of the Central New York Information Services, Inc., CNY’s privately owned multiple listing service