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Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Housing: Seriously Dude, Where's my inventory?

by Calculated Risk on 7/04/2012 12:52:00 PM

Happy 4th!

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 for (54 metro areas), inventory is off 24.2% 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 May (left axis) and the HousingTracker data for the 54 metro areas through early July.

NAR vs. 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 starts to increase again through the summer. So inventory might still increase a little over the next month or two, but the forecasts for a "surge" in inventory this summer were incorrect. In fact inventory might have already peaked for the year!

The second graph shows the year-over-year change in inventory for both the NAR and HousingTracker. YoY Home InventoryHousingTracker reported that the early July listings, for the 54 metro areas, declined 24.2% from the same period last year. So far in 2012, the NAR has reported only a small seasonal increase in inventory - and the housing tracker numbers are lower in early July than for January!

This decline in active inventory remains a huge story, and the lower level of inventory is helping stabilize house prices.

All current Existing Home Sales graphs