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Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Housing: Dude, Where's my inventory?

by Calculated Risk on 6/05/2012 01:45:00 PM

I've been using inventory numbers from HousingTracker / DeptofNumbers to track changes in listed inventory. Tom Lawler mentioned this last year.

According to the for (54 metro areas), inventory is off 22.0% compared to the same week last year. Unfortunately the deptofnumbers only started tracking inventory in April 2006.

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

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

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

On a seasonal basis, housing inventory usually bottoms in December and January and then starts to increase again through the summer. So inventory might increase a little over the next couple of months, but the forecasts for a "surge" in inventory this summer appear to be incorrect.

The second graph shows the year-over-year change in inventory for both the NAR and HousingTracker. YoY Home InventoryHousingTracker reported that the early June listings, for the 54 metro areas, declined 22.0% from the same period last year. So far in 2012, there has only been a small seasonal increase in inventory.

This decline in active inventory remains a huge story, and lower levels of inventory will help with the stabilization of house prices.

All current Existing Home Sales graphs