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2014-01-22 11:25:06
Tight Housing Inventories Still Plague Markets

Tight Housing Inventories Still Plague Markets

Home buyers continue to face limited choices of homes for sale in many markets, according to realtor.com®’s National Housing Trend Report. 

“As we open the new year, the first-quarter inventory figures are especially crucial as our first barometer [of] seller confidence for the 2014 homebuying season,” said Errol Samuelson, president of realtor.com®. “The market is still showing significant demand, but in order to have a strong homebuying season, sellers need to put their homes on the market.”

Some of the markets that saw the highest upticks to inventory levels were housing markets that had seen multiple bids and some of the fastest price gains due to inventory shortages in spring 2013. Many of those markets ended the year with the highest inventory gains as sellers put their homes on the market in response to the rising prices, realtor.com®'s report notes. 

The markets with some of the largest year-over-year inventory increases were:

  • Sacramento, Calif.: +57.9% 
  • Bakersfield, Calif.: +41.7% 
  • Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn.-Wis.: +34.5%
  • Orlando: +30.8%
  • Atlanta: +27.3%

On the other hand, some of the housing markets with the largest year-over-year decreases in housing inventories were: 

  • Santa Barbara-Santa Maria-Lompoc, Calif.: -21.52% 
  • Orange County, Calif.: -16.08% 
  • Boulder-Longmont, Colo.: -15.62%
  • Naples, Fla.: -15.37%
  • Chicago: -14.65%
  • Fort Worth-Arlington, Texas: -14.65%

Inventory shortages helped push asking prices higher in many markets. Forty-two markets nationwide saw double-digit price growth in 2013 compared with 2012. For example, Santa Barbara-Santa Maria-Lompoc, Calif., saw its housing inventory shrink by the largest amount in the past year, but asking prices there rose 29.6 percent in that time. 

The markets with the largest year-over-year median list price increases were: 

  • Stockton-Lodi, Calif.: +47.3% 
  • Detroit: +41.1% 
  • Santa Barbara-Santa Maria-Lompoc, Calif.: +29.6% 
  • Las Vegas: +29.3%

Source: “Report: 2013 Ended With Higher Housing Demand, Prices,” realtor.com® (Jan. 21, 2014)

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