Wednesday, July 27, 2011

HousingTracker: Homes For Sale inventory down 11.1% Year-over-year in July

by Bill McBride on 7/27/2011 08:29:00 PM

Last month, Tom Lawler posted on how the NAR estimates existing home inventory. The NAR does NOT aggregate data from the local boards (see Tom's post for how the NAR estimates inventory). Sometime this fall, the NAR will revise down their estimates of inventory and sales for the last few years. Also the NAR methodology for estimating sales and inventory will likely (hopefully) be changed.

While we wait for the NAR revisions, I think the HousingTracker / DeptofNumbers data that Tom mentioned might be a better estimate of changes in inventory (and always more timely). Ben at is tracking the aggregate monthly inventory for 54 metro areas.

NAR vs. Existing Home InventoryClick on graph for larger image in graph gallery.

This graph shows the NAR estimate of existing home inventory through June (left axis) and the HousingTracker data for the 54 metro areas through July. The HousingTracker data shows a steeper decline in inventory over the last few years (as mentioned above, the NAR will probably revise down their inventory estimates this fall).

Lawler wrote today:

The area covered by DON/HT does not necessarily track the nation as a whole. However, it’s listings have shown significantly larger YOY declines than has the NAR in its estimate of US existing homes for sale. Moreover, when I include areas I track that are not covered by DON/HT, I find that listings in June were down significantly more than the NAR shows. This may indicate that home sales this June were down more from a year ago than the NAR estimates suggest. YoY Home InventoryThe second graph shows the year-over-year change in inventory for both the NAR and HousingTracker.

HousingTracker reported that the July listings - for the 54 metro areas - declined 11.1% from last year.

Of course there is a large percentage of distressed inventory, and various categories of "shadow inventory" too. But the decline in listed inventory will put less downward pressure on house prices and is something to watch carefully all year.

Here are the posts this month on June Home Sales and Prices:
New Home Sales in June at 312,000 Annual Rate
Existing Home Sales in June: 4.77 million SAAR, 9.5 months of supply
Home Sales: Distressing Gap
• Graph Galleries: New Home Sales and Existing Home Sales

On House Prices:
Case Shiller: Home Prices increase in May
Real House Prices and Price-to-Rent
• Graph Galleries: Home Prices