May 24, 2018

Despite Low Inventory, Listing Prices Slacken

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Despite Low Inventory, Listing Prices Slacken

The inventory of for-sale homes remains at historic lows, down 17 percent compared to year-ago levels, but the housing recovery may be slowing with recent rises in median listing prices now showing signs of tapering off, according to October housing data recently released by, which includes single-family homes, condos, townhomes, and co-ops. 

The median list price in October was $189,900—about the same as last year. 

“While lower inventories are a positive sign, the recent erosion in the median list price may foreshadow a dampening of recent increases in housing prices,” according to a release. 

As inventories sank dramatically the last few years, the housing recovery started to take off, beginning in Florida more than a year ago, according to The recovery has since spread to California, Arizona, Nevada, and other parts of the West, with inventories falling and median list prices increasing 10 percent or more compared to a year ago. 

“However, a growing number of Midwestern and ‘rust belt’ markets are registering signs of weakness, with list prices below the levels observed last year,” according to

Median list prices have dropped the most year-over-year in Peoria-Pekin, Ill., which has seen a nearly 12 percent drop in asking prices in that timeframe. Charleston, W. Va., has seen median list prices drop nearly 10 percent and Reading, Pa., posted a nearly 8 percent drop in asking prices, according to data. 

The markets performing the best year-over-year with median asking prices rising are mostly in California. The following are the eight markets seeing the biggest growth in asking rises from October 2012 compared to October 2011.

  1. Sacramento, Calif.
    • Year-over-year: 31.01%
    • Median list price: $275,000
  2. Santa Barbara-Santa Maria-Lompoc, Calif.
    • Year-over-year: 27.03%
    • Median list price: $710,000
  3. Phoenix-Mesa, Ariz.
    • Year-over-year: 25.57%
    • Median list price: $198,000
  4. San Jose, Calif.
    • Year-over-year: 20.49%
    • Median list price: $588,000
  5. Oakland, Calif.
    • Year-over-year: 17.49%
    • Median list price: $399,000
  6. San Francisco
    • Year-over-year: 17.37%
    • Median list price: $750,000
  7. Fresno, Calif.
    • Year-over-year: 14.64%
    • Median list price: $180,000
  8. Atlanta, Ga.
    • Year-over-year: 13.14%
    • Median list price: $179,900