Sunday, October 16, 2011

Report: Homes for sale inventory at lowest level since at least 2007

by Calculated Risk on 10/16/2011 09:30:00 PM

From Nick Timiraos at the WSJ: Slim Pickings Are Latest Headache For Home Sales

There were more than 2.19 million homes listed for sale at the end of September, down 20% from a year earlier, according to a new report from the real-estate website That is the lowest level since the company began its count in 2007.
[R]eal-estate agents say ... people are pulling their homes off the market rather than try to sell them at today's ... prices.
In Detroit, the inventory of homes for sale was down by 28% from a year earlier, according to Listings were down by 49% in Miami, by 48% in Phoenix and by 46% in Orlando, Fla. Housing inventory was down from one year earlier in all 146 markets tracked by except for Denver and El Paso, Texas.
This is similar to the data I've been using from HousingTracker. Even though inventory levels are at the lowest level in a few years, this is still a fairly high level of inventory. As I noted yesterday: "Based on [Tom Lawler's estimate for September], [NAR reported] inventory would fall to 3.44 million in September, down from 3.58 million in August, and months-of-supply would increase to 8.6 months from 8.5 months in August. This would be the lowest level of inventory for September since 2005 (2.77 million in Sept 2005). The peak inventory for September was in 2007 at 4.37 million."

Many of these people are probably waiting for a "better market" - and they probably will have a long wait!

Summary for Week Ending Oct 14th
Lawler: Early Read on Existing Home Sales in September
Schedule for Week of Oct 16th