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Housing Inventory Shows Signs of Recovery

Published on Wednesday - July 17, 2013

The first half of 2013 witnessed a distinct lack of housing inventory across the entire United States. As a result, prospective house hunters were forced to compete over the limited supply, driving up prices at a ridiculous rate. However, a recent report issued by The Wall Street Journal has acknowledged that inventory shortages may be a thing of the past. Following spring’s constrained home sales, summer has seen the number of listed homes continue to trend upwards.

Recent years have seen a significant decline in the nation’s housing inventory. However, as they always do, summer and spring are expected to ease the recent lack of inventory that has burdened millions of prospective homeowners. But inventories appear to be reaching larger-than-usual levels in several markets across the country, as they rise from their lowest levels in at least a decade.

According to Realtor.com, 1.9 million homes were listed for sale in June. This number represents a 4.3 percent increase and the highest ratio of listed homes since last year. Four of the nation’s 30 largest markets, in particular, are representative of the recent inventory increase.

Sacramento, Atlanta Phoenix and Miami had each been subjected to step declines in inventory levels over the past two years. However, each was the beneficiary of larger-than-expected increases. Housing inventory was up by 11% in Sacramento, Calif.; by 10.9% in Atlanta; by 6.2% in Phoenix; and by 2.2% in Miami. Substantial markets, such as these, may reflect the direction most cities are headed.

While not demonstrating the significant increase witnessed the previously mentioned cities, the following metros posted declines of less than the national average decline of 7.3 percent:

  • Los Angeles
  • Philadelphia
  • Baltimore
  • Chicago
  • Charlotte, N.C.

Experts have already begun to speculate whether or not higher inventory levels will lead to a higher volume of sales.

“No one wants to sell at the bottom, but prices have now been rising for more than a year and by more than 30 percent in some markets — triggering some homeowners to lock in those gains, including those who have been underwater,” said Jed Kolko, chief economist at listing portal Trulia.

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