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If you’re still waffling on ditching the city for a house with a yard in the suburbs (or vice versa), the time to make it happen is now or never. Never mind rising home prices—a new report says real-estate inventory has decreased by 200,000 listings compared to figures over the past four years

Inventory isn’t the sexy number to follow on Zillow or StreetEasy. People who clamor over apartment rent aren’t also bugging out on how many listings per district hit the market year after year. But it’s the most important figure in real estate right now. If the number of listings significantly drops, it doesn’t matter if the average one-bedroom in New York is $1,400 now—only four of them will be available and thousands of people will be applying. 

Whether you’re looking for a bigger space in a new city or wanting to grab that deluxe apartment in the sky while you can, start setting up those viewings. Pro tips: Don’t let new appliances distract you from structural problems (check the ceilings, floors, and basement!), and get a feel for the area from the neighbors if you’re on the fence. If you’ve got your attorney and paperwork lined up, you’re in a good spot to score the house of your dreams.

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