The Seller’s Market We Won’t Forget

MONTHS’ SUPPLY OF INVENTORY VS. ABSORPTION RATE

2020 turned our lives upside down, altered real estate trends, and resulted in a sellers’ market that will be hard to forget. The last time REIN recorded inventory numbers this low was back in 2004!

The phrases ‘Months’ Supply of Inventory’ and ‘Absorption Rate’ are sometimes used interchangeably, but they are actually quite different. This concept can often confuse consumers who are trying to understand how these numbers affect their buying or selling process. So, let’s break it down.    

Absorption Rate per Month is the average number of listings that have sold within the last 12 months.

  • Absorption Rate = Total number of listings sold in the last 12 months divided by 12 months.

Months’ Supply of Inventory is the number of months it would take under the current Absorption Rate to sell all properties actively on the market depleting us of all available inventory. 

  • Months’ Supply of Inventory = Total number active listings divided by the current Absorption Rate.

The city of Chesapeake’s months’ supply of inventory experienced the highest  percentage change (-57.46%) from 2.28 months in December 2019 to just 0.97 in December 2020, the lowest in all of the region’s seven major cities. Suffolk, however, had the highest months’ supply in Hampton Roads for December 2020 at 1.82 months. Over the course of the last year, Norfolk saw the lowest percentage of change and currently remains steady at 1.58 months. In December 2019, Virginia Beach had the lowest months’ supply in our region at 1.91 months, but recorded 1.07 in December 2020, just a tad higher than Chesapeake. 

So what does all of this mean? The months’ supply of inventory tracks the health of the market. The magic number for a balanced market is six months. Anything above six is considered a Buyer’s market. This means there is more inventory for buyers to see, and they drive the price. Anything below six is considered a Seller’s market, which means there is a lower amount of inventory, and the sellers drive the price. 

*Disclaimer: Numbers are comparing December 2019 to December 2020 and the percentage of change.


Psssst! I wanted to let you in on a little secret. While I am a real estate agent…I am a different kind of real estate agent. I am creating a revolution in realty by combining everything you love about this area all into one place. Known around town as Mr. Williamsburg, I combine my extensive knowledge of the Williamsburg, Richmond, and Hampton Roads areas with my expertise in helping buyers and sellers navigate the ever-changing local real estate market to create a top-notch experience that checks all of your boxes.

Are you a homeowner searching for someone innovative and committed to selling your home? Allow Mr. Williamsburg to tell your story. With my unique marketing approach, your home will be seen from your eyes, not described in a few sentences by someone who doesn’t know it well.

Curious in finding the value of your existing home? Ask me here.

Interested in learning more about neighborhoods in the Williamsburg area? Check out my resource on specific communities in the surrounding areas of Williamsburg and Hampton Roads here.

Looking somewhere other than Williamsburg? In addition to my affinity for Williamsburg, I have helped hundreds of folks find their dream home and community in areas outside of the ‘Burg, such as Yorktown, New Kent, Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Suffolk, Isle of Wight, Poquoson, and Richmond. I’m committed to helping you find your perfect fit and the place you’re happy to call home. Fill out this form and I’ll get back to you so we can connect.

Want to learn more about what working with me is like? While I can tell you all day why I love what I do so much, hearing directly from previous clients is the best way to see this. To read real client reviews and learn more about what it’s like working with me on your team, visit my reviews page here.

Your real estate journey is just that…yours. I get that it’ll be unique. It needs a marketing plan and a committed real estate professional to guide you every step of the way. To talk further, you can reach me via phone or text at 757-254-8136 or through email at [email protected].

I look forward to serving your real estate needs and welcoming you to this place that I’m lucky enough to call home!

John Womeldorf, Mr. Williamsburg