September 27, 2016

Inventories Tighten Up Again

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Inventories Tighten Up Again

Home owners aren’t selling, and the lack of housing inventory is restraining numerous markets across the country, realtor.com® reports in its January National Housing Trend Report. The report tracks list price and inventory fluctuations for properties listed on realtor.com® in 200 markets.

Read more: Tight Supplies Put Home Prices on the Move

Inventory of homes for sale fell in January, decreasing 6.7 percent month-over-month and 8.7 percent year-over-year.

“Most markets are struggling to achieve the proper balance of homes for sale and qualified buyers,” realtor.com® notes in its report. “Low inventory has become a national challenge as home owners opt to stay put longer — a record 10 years — rather than move up and move on.”

About 80 percent of the housing markets tracked saw a drop in inventory levels, the report showed. Prices will continue to rise in markets where demand outstrips supply, says Jonathan Smoke, chief economist at realtor.com®.

Inventories have had the steepest year-over-year decreases in Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, Nev. (down 37%); Key West, Fla. (-36%); Colorado Springs, Colo. (-36%); Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, Fla. (-35%); and Columbus, Ohio (-35%).

Despite inventory drops, the housing outlook remains rosy, particularly for sellers, realtor.com® notes. Many housing markets are appreciating in value as homes sell faster. The median asking price in January was $211,000, an 8.8 percent rise year-over-year. Also, homes spent about 103 days on the market in January, a 4.6 percent decrease year-over-year.

Realtor.com® singled out four cities as emerging bright spots in housing: Jersey City, N.J.; Jacksonville, Fla.; Pittsburgh; and Tampa, Fla. All four cities have achieved an optimal balance of supply and demand, realtor.com® notes in its report. The four cities are seeing 14 percent price increases while also adding 4 percent more houses to the market.

“All four of these markets have very positive economic momentum: strong job recovery, growth in new construction, healthy growth in home prices, and growth in sales and positive demographic trends,” Smoke says.

Source: “Realtor.com®’s National Housing Trend Report” (January 2015) “Our Housing Report Says the Market Is Out of Whack – But With 4 Bright Spots,” realtor.com® (Feb. 19, 2015)