Nationally, the residential real estate market is out of whack in the supply and demand, with many fewer listings than buyers, and that's the main thing holding down sales in some markets. That is usually not the issue in commercial real estate, since there are so many different types of properties, and they aren't often fungible. There is a problem, however, in that we see many buyers and tenants who cannot find the kind of properties that they are seeking; that is a different variant of supply and demand.
We seem to see more of that issue now. Why would that be? First of all, it's much easier for buyers to see what's on the market by searching on-line themselves. So, when they get to us, they have seen what's there, and they are looking for what's not there. Secondly, it seems as though there are more Section 1031 tax-free exchanges, where buyers may be more constrained in what they need to buy, and in more of a hurry. Thirdly, the lingering effects of a bad market have caused many sellers not to list.
What are the lessons here for buyers and tenants, sellers and owners? If you are a buyer/tenant, it's more important than ever to make sure that you have a real estate agent who knows the local market, since you may be looking for that proverbial needle in a haystack. We are doing more and more searches for what isn't available, and you can find those things, but you have to know where to look. For sellers/lessors, the lesson is simpler: List now.