Look out, Sierra Vista. An experience is coming your way you're not quite familiar with.

The housing market is undergoing a transformation in the area that's resulting in lower inventory, multiple offers and bidding wars. The supply is getting to the point at which it's not serving the demand.

“I came out of California, so I've seen a lot of this before,” says Joan Wilson, an agent with Long Realty. “So, I've seen it, but I don't think Sierra Vista has ever had the feeding frenzy that we're seeing right now. And the big change for Sierra Vista is it's less military. It's more contractors and civilians and people trying to get out of California and New Jersey and Alaska, for some reason. It's a feeding frenzy here at the moment.”

Wilson says low interest rates and new house construction are factors in the surge. But another factor is fueling the fire.

“The biggest problem we're having now is a lack of inventory,” she says. “A year ago we had COVID and then everything was staying on the market, basically nothing was selling. But right before that you had a good three to four months of inventory, there was a selection and typically things were on the market for at least a couple of weeks.

“Now, you have less than two month's worth of inventory, really close to one month's worth of inventory. And things are not staying on the market for a week, mostly. You've gone from 15 days down to five days being a long time on the market.”

The fact that more out-of-towners are entering the market is creating problems for residents.

“What I'm seeing is a lot of people from out of town buying,” Wilson says. “You know, we don't seem to have a lot of move-up buyers (in SV) right now, and partially it's because they have no place to stay; the houses are selling so fast they don't want to get caught without a house.

“No one's willing to take a contingent offer, because why would you? And some of that is on the agents. We need to help the sellers understand there are ways around that. You don't have to be homeless and trying to find a house. We can write a longer escrow, we cant do a rent-back and things like that, and they're not seeing that yet.”

Good point, because Wilson says many properties are getting hard looks.

“I think pretty much all properties are in demand,” she says. “You have people that don't want to spend a lot of money but want a place to get away to, so the inexpensive ones are in demand. You've got people who are looking for more space. You've got people who want space around them so the country ones with more land are selling; and you get people who want brand new houses and neighborhoods and all the services. It's a wide variety.”

Rental availability is depleted, but that's been the case for at least the past two years, Wilson says.

“Everything's rented. It's hard to find anything unless you're going into larger units. But it's all rented for sure. The biggest problem you have with rentals right now is the lack thereof.”

Which brings the buying market into sharper focus, especially with what Wilson sees on the horizon.

“The community itself has not quite adjusted to the bidding wars, we're just getting into that,” she says. “We had a house the other day, within two days we had five offers. Three of them were looking for a discount, so they were automatically out. One of them offered full listing and one of them did what they call an escalation clause, where it said here's my bid; if there's something that comes in higher, I'll go this much higher (on the offer).”