Demand Up, Supply Runs Low

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), November 2, 2012 | Go to article overview

Demand Up, Supply Runs Low


Byline: Chris Sicks, SPECIAL TO THE WASHINGTON TIMES

In college, I didn't do well in my one economics class. I was an English major.

Yet the economic principles I'm going to discuss in today's column are so simple that even an English major should be able to explain them clearly. They are: supply, demand and prices.

You will find three kinds of data in today's charts: listings, settlements and prices. Listings, the number of homes area Realtors list for sale, equate to the supply of homes on the market.

Settlements, the number of properties that are recorded as sold after a buyer and seller sign a big stack of papers, is one measurement of demand.

Prices, of course, are what you care about the most. But you should know that home prices rise and fall based upon what happens to supply and demand.

So, let's dive in. If you look at the listings charts, you immediately will see that the number of homes coming onto the market has plummeted since 2008. Property owners learned during the terrible years of 2007 and 2008 that homes weren't selling, so many stopped trying.

Now look at the settlements charts, and you will find something different. …

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