Friday, September 06, 2013

Housing Watch: Inventory

by Bill McBride on 9/06/2013 06:01:00 PM

A quick note: I'm watching housing inventory very closely this year. I think that inventory bottomed earlier this year, and that the NAR will report a year-over-year increase in inventory very soon (probably for September). As more inventory comes on the market, buyer urgency will wane and price increases will slow and even decline seasonally in many areas this winter. IMO this will be another step towards a more normal housing market.

We are starting to see more and more local areas report year-over-year increases in inventory. Housing economist Tom Lawler frequently sends out data on different areas across the country. In today's note, Lawler wrote:

The Arizona Regional MLS reported that residential home sales by realtors in the Greater Phoenix, Arizona area totaled 7,055 in August, down 6.9% from last August’s pace. Lender-owned properties were 8.9% of last month’s sales, down from 14.0% last August, while last month’s short-sales share was 10.3%, down from 29.4% a year ago. Active listings in August totaled 21,382, up 6.6% from July and up 2.1% from a year ago. The median home sales price last month was $180,200, up 23.4% from last August.

The Greater Nashville Association of Realtors reported that residential home sales by realtors in the Nashville, Tennessee area totaled 2,895 in August, up 16.9% from last August’s pace. Active listings in August totaled 11,371, down 4.9% from July and down 10.2% from a year ago. The median SF home sales price last month was $194,000, up 10.9% from last August. The number of sales pending at the end of August was up 12.3% from a year ago.

The Mid-Hudson MLS reported that residential home sales by realtors in Dutchess County, New York totaled 238 in August, up 32.2% from last August’s pace. Active listings in August totaled 2,386, up 3.0% from July and up 2.5% from a year ago. The median SF home sales price last month was $255,000, up 3.0% from last August.
emphasis added
Two out of three areas in today's note reported year-over-year increases. I'm seeing year-over-year increases in more and more areas - and soon the national numbers will reflect this change.