Monday, November 05, 2012

Housing: Inventory down sharply in early November, Impacted by Hurricane Sandy

by Bill McBride on 11/05/2012 02:22:00 PM

Here is another update using inventory numbers from HousingTracker / DeptofNumbers to track changes in listed inventory. Tom Lawler mentioned this last year.

According to the deptofnumbers.com for (54 metro areas), inventory is off 26.8% compared to the same week last year. However Hurricane Sandy clearly played a role; inventory in New York was off 55% week-over-week, Philadelphia off 66%, and Newark off 25%.

But even after adjusting for the areas impacted by Hurricane Sandy, overall inventory is down 22% year-over-year and probably at the lowest level since the early '00s.

This graph shows the NAR estimate of existing home inventory through September (left axis) and the HousingTracker data for the 54 metro areas through early November.

NAR vs. HousingTracker.net Existing Home InventoryClick on graph for larger image.

Since the NAR released their revisions for sales and inventory last year, the NAR and HousingTracker inventory numbers have tracked pretty well.

On a seasonal basis, housing inventory usually bottoms in December and January and then increases through the summer. So inventory will probably decline for the next several months before increasing again next year.

The second graph shows the year-over-year change in inventory for both the NAR and HousingTracker.

HousingTracker.net YoY Home InventoryHousingTracker reported that the early November listings, for the 54 metro areas, declined 26.8% from the same period last year.

The year-over-year declines will probably start to get smaller since inventory is already pretty low. Barring a major disaster, it seems very unlikely we will see 20%+ year-over-year declines next summer!

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