Wednesday, August 10, 2011

HousingTracker: Homes For Sale inventory down 13.3% Year-over-year in mid-August

by Calculated Risk on 8/10/2011 03:39:00 PM

Back in June, 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 is expected to revise down their estimates of inventory and sales for the last few years.

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

NAR vs. HousingTracker.net 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 mid-August. The HousingTracker data shows a steeper decline (as mentioned above, the NAR will probably revise down their inventory estimates this summer).

HousingTracker.net YoY Home InventoryThe second graph shows the year-over-year change in inventory for both the NAR and HousingTracker.

HousingTracker reported that the mid-August listings - for the 54 metro areas - declined 13.3% from last year.

Of course there is a large percentage of distressed inventory, many seriously delinquent loans and various categories of "shadow inventory" too. But the decline in listed inventory is something to watch carefully.